Jimmy Carter famously sold his peanut farm to avoid any semblance of an ethics breach as he took the presidency. Almost as famously, instead of divesting from his extensive business and real estate holdings, President Trump opted to set up a blind trust with his sons at the helm. At the time, Trump’s lawyer explained that the president “was completely isolating himself from his business interests.”
But a new report from ProPublica casts some doubt on that statement. The researchers dug into a report from the General Services Administration and found a new clause in Trump’s trust documents that allows the president to take income from the trust whenever he wants.
The clause reads:
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 language allows Trump to take income or principal “at his request,” and because both the trust and Trump Organization are privately held, he doesn’t need to disclose it. Read the full story from ProPublica.