By Andy Sullivan, Emily Stephenson and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would maintain ownership of his global business empire but hand off control to his two oldest sons while president, an arrangement that watchdogs said would not prevent conflicts of interest in the White House. Trump told a news conference he would resign from all positions overseeing his hotels, golf courses and hundreds of other businesses and move his assets into a trust to help ensure that he will not consciously take actions as president that would benefit him personally. Trump, a Republican, is under pressure to distance himself from his businesses before he moves into the White House on Jan. 20. Unlike other U.S. government officials, the president is not required by law to steer clear of conflicts of interest. "I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don't like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to," Trump said. Ethics experts said the arrangement did not go far enough. "Mr. Trump's ill-advised course will precipitate scandal and corruption," said Norman Eisen, a former White House ethics adviser under Democratic President Barack Obama. Walter Shaub, director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, said on Wednesday in a speech at a Washington think tank that his office recommends Trump "divest his conflicting assets" to avoid conflicts. Trump appears to be still involved with his business while preparing to take office, saying he had turned down a $2 billion development deal in Dubai he had been offered over the weekend. The company that made the proposal, DAMAC, confirmed the discussions had taken place. The Trump Organization will not enter into any new overseas deals while Trump is president and will only undertake domestic projects after a company ethics adviser has approved them, said Trump adviser Sheri Dillon. Details of how the ethics adviser would operate, as well as several other aspects of the arrangements, were not immediately clear. Trump will only know of those deals if he hears about them through the news media, said Dillon, a lawyer at Morgan Lewis who focuses on tax and ethics. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, will have no further involvement in managing the organization or her own clothing brand. Ivanka Trump said on her Facebook page that she would take time off to settle her family into their new home in Washington. The president-elect has named her husband, Jared Kushner, to a senior advisory role in the White House. Since Trump sold all his stocks last year, the Trump trust will hold only business assets and liquid assets such as cash, Dillon said. A financial disclosure document he filed in May also showed loans from lenders such as Deutsche Bank and Ladder Capital . Trump will not have to file a new disclosure form until 2018. Many other ethics experts, including the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, have urged Trump to completely divest or set up a blind trust for his assets. In a blind trust, the owner does now know what the holdings are or how the assets are managed. Trump's oldest sons, Eric and Donald Jr., will be running his business, so the arrangement does not meet that standard. Dillon said that was not a realistic possibility for a family-owned company and any sudden divestment would hurt Trump financially. Unlike liquid assets like stocks and investment funds, much of Trump's wealth comes from office towers and other real estate that cannot be sold easily, as well as licensing deals that could be difficult to unwind. Stripped of the Trump name, many of these assets would lose much of their value, Dillon said. "President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built," she said. Dillon dismissed concerns that Trump could violate an anti-bribery provision in the U.S. Constitution, known as the Emoluments Clause. That applies to gifts, but not business transactions like renting a hotel room, she said. Nevertheless, profits generated at Trump's hotels by foreign governments will be donated to the U.S. Treasury, she said. (Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell in Dubai; Editing by Anna Driver, Grant McCool and James Dalgleish)
Ex-official who investigated Hillary Clinton's emails said there would be evidence if Trump declassified documents: 'It can't just be an idea in his head'
"Programs and officials would have been notified," former DOJ official David Laufman said of Trump's claim he declassified all the Mar-a-Lago docs.
- In The Know by Yahoo
American woman dumbfounded by plate after ordering ‘chips and salsa’ in Italy: ‘I’ll never get over it’
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- The Recount
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announces FL has “charged and is in the process of arresting 20 individuals … for voter fraud.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a presser in a courthouse to announce that the state’s new Office of Election Crimes and Security, which began on July 1, has discovered 20 instance of voter fraud. DeSantis says the 20 individuals will be charged and arrested for their crimes. The state of Florida will continue to monitor voter fraud in the upcoming election as well as review the 2020 election results.
The right has used this phrase for others, but doesn't think it should apply to them.
- Business Insider
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- Chicago Tribune
R. Kelly’s former goddaughter breaks down at his federal trial, telling jury he filmed them having sex while she was a minor
The woman had been testifying for more than four hours Thursday about her clandestine sexual relationship with R&B superstar R. Kelly as an impressionable young teenager when she was asked about one of the central mysteries in the case. Why, after two decades of silence, did she finally decide to come forward and speak out? There was a lengthy, silent pause in the Chicago federal courtroom. ...
- The Daily Beast
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- USA TODAY
Frederick Woods, now 70, was 24 when he and two other men kidnapped 26 school children and their bus driver in Northern California and buried them.
- In The Know by Yahoo
A woman is accusing an airline of "gender discrimination" after she says she was barred from entering from its business class lounge because of her outfit.
- The Guardian
Cheney releases recording of her call to Harriet Hageman, conceding her loss in the Wyoming US House primary on Tuesday
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I'm a former college teacher. I wish parents would teach their kids these 3 life skills before they're done with high school.
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- AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
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- The Recount
Fox News’ Steve Doocy explains the real-world consequences of Republicans' FBI-bashing to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
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The New York Times' Maggie Haberman speculates that Trump could have taken documents related to the Mueller probe
Trump had a habit of keeping documents if he thought "something was cool" or it was "personally advantageous," Haberman said on a podcast.
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
When someone fully and completely embraces a public life, there really are no personal issues. That dynamic is becoming abundantly clear with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who has fully embraced and cultivated a platform that has resulted in the aggressive pursuit of multiple business interests, has had his football career plunge into mystery with [more]
Sarah Palin's former in-laws threw a massive campaign party for her opponent before election night, and now they'll both be on the midterm ballot
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The Trump-backed Wyoming winner insisted on Fox News that Cheney left a "two-second message" that didn't concede the election, then hung up.
Kendall Jenner has posted more Instagram photos, this time featuring 818 Tequila and a bronze brown thongkini. Shop the bikini that Devin Booker commented on.