As the mainstream media continues to blast Trump with allegations of conflicts of interest related to his many real estate holdings around the world, at least one conflict they won't have to worry about anymore is his holdings of public stocks. Per the Washington Post, a Trump spokesman told the press yesterday that Trump unloaded all of his public shares back in June.
Then, in what was supposed to be an interview congratulating Trump for his Time Person of the Year award, Matt Lauer of the Today Show decided to grill the president-elect on his public stock holdings and why he decided to sell.
"Well I've never been a big person for the stock market, frankly. But, over the years I bought stocks. And, I bought them when they were low and I saw what was going on with interest rates were so low that it almost seemed like it was easy to predict what was going to happen with the stock market."
When pressed on why he chose June to dump all his shares, Trump responded simply that he felt "like I was very much going to be winning."
"Because I felt like I was very much going to be winning. And I think I would have a tremendous conflict of interest owning all these different companies."
"I don't think it's appropriate for me to be owning stocks when I'm making deals for this country that maybe will effect one company positively and another negatively. I just felt there was a conflict."
According to a financial disclosure form filed back in May, Trump held positions in a number of stocks including Apple, AT&T, ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs. He also held a position in Boeing which he noted buying back in January 2013 on Twitter.
According to The Hill, the president-elect isn't explicitly barred from holding stocks while in office, although the law requires he disclose stock transactions of more than $1,000 within six weeks’ of taking office. Moreover, reporting requirement mandate that Trump would also have to file yearly disclosures once in office.
Meanwhile, as Bloomberg points out in a new poll, while two-thirds of Americans feel Trump needs to distance himself from his businesses, 69% think it would be too much to force his family to sell those businesses outright.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults think Donald Trump needs to choose between being president or a businessman, but slightly more -- 69 percent -- believe it goes too far to force him and his family to sell their business empire to avoid conflicts of interest.
The first Bloomberg National Poll since the election shows 51 percent of those surveyed are very or mostly confident the billionaire businessman will put the nation’s best interests ahead of his family’s finances when he deals with foreign leaders.
Trump is, however, enjoying the post-election bump in popularity common among winning candidates. He’s viewed favorably by 50 percent, up from 33 percent in August. But that’s still well below President Barack Obama’s 78 percent favorability in a January 2009 Gallup Poll after his first-term win.
Of course, no matter what Trump decides to do with his real estate holdings, in the end, we're quite positive that it will cause outrage within the mainstream media.