President Donald Trump can draw money from his business empire as its trustees see fit without disclosing it publicly, according to a revised version of his trust, a change that ethics experts say blurs the lines between the Trump Organization and his administration.
Trump said before his inauguration that he would put his assets into a trust and relinquish control of his businesses to his two adult sons, in an effort to avoid conflicts of interest during his presidency. Ethics experts criticized the arrangement, in which Trump would retain ownership of the business, arguing the nation’s first purely private-sector president hadn’t taken adequate steps to distance himself from his company.
According to a revised version of the trust released by the General Services Administration, “The Trustees shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request, as the Trustees deem necessary for his maintenance, support or uninsured medical expenses, or as the Trustees otherwise deem appropriate.”
The trustees who would be responsible for making those decisions are Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, and Allen Weissenberg, the longtime chief financial officer of Trump Organization.
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