Wealthy people have been in the White House before, but none with such substantial, visible and active business interests as President-elect Donald Trump. That makes for extremely difficult questions about how to address them. Top ethics lawyers for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are pushing a huge solution: sell it all. They propose Trump liquidate the entire empire, through IPO or a private equity transaction, and place the money into a qualified blind trust. It sounds like a wild fantasy of good government groups, and it is, but intriguingly, the reliably conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board just backed the plan. Whether it’s this plan or some other arrangement, these business conflicts are real, they’re significant, and they’re going to continue to be a distraction for the incoming administration until they’re resolved.
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