US government ethics office tweets praise after Trump promises to part with companies

CCTV News

Screenshot of US OGE Twitter

In a series of nine tweets, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics tweeted directly to President-elect Donald Trump, praising his recent announcement that he will divest from his companies.

The tweets from the official Twitter account for the government agency began at 1pm EST the day that the President-elect sent a series of tweets himself divesting from his companies, also adding that he and his children will have a press conference to discuss the details of his decision on December 15, 2016. Within hours of the tweets being sent, they were re-tweeted hundreds of times.

In an email statement to CCTV, the Office of Government Ethics said: “Like everyone else, we were excited this morning to read the President-elect’s twitter feed indicating that he wants to be free of conflicts of interest. OGE applauds that goal, which is consistent with an opinion OGE issued in 1983. Divestiture resolves conflicts of interest in a way that transferring control does not. We don’t know the details of their plan, but we are willing and eager to help them with it.”

“The tweets that OGE posted today were responding only to the public statement that the President-elect made on his Twitter feed about his plans regarding conflicts of interest. OGE’s tweets were not based on any information about the President-elect’s plans beyond what was shared on his Twitter feed. OGE is non-partisan and does not endorse any individual,” the government office said in the email statement.

The office is in charge of “providing leadership in the executive branch to prevent conflicts of interest,” according to their mission statement.

U.S. Office of Government Ethics Twitter

The office tweeted, referencing a 1983 government confirmation on “conflict of interest” laws relating to the president.

Calls and emails to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics for comment were not returned by the time of publication.

Trump did not provide any details about how he planned to separate from his businesses, though he said legal documents were being prepared. He has previously said that he’d leave his business operations to his three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka. It is unclear whether Trump would be fully divested from his companies by the time he is sworn into office on January 20, 2017.

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Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday the three adult Trump children are expected to “increase their responsibilities” in the Trump Organization. Asked if the tweets in which the president-elect announced the plans to leave his business, Conway replied, “It appears that way.” Ethics experts have pushed for Trump to fully exit the ownership of his businesses using a blind trust or equivalent arrangement.

This story includes information from The Associated Press.