Eric Trump says he can manage his father’s business without running afoul of ethical conflicts, according to a report in the New York Times.
The newspaper, in a story published Sunday, said it spent two days last week at Trump Tower interviewing Eric and Donald Jr. It is the first time President Trump’s two adult sons have spoken at length with the press since taking over their father’s business.
Eric Trump told the newspaper that he talks to his father “a few” times a week, but knows what information about the business not to share.
“In the next four years, do I ever expect him to say: ‘Hey, how’s Turnberry? How’s the new green? How’s the new 10th tee?'” Eric told the Times. He added that if he’s asked those questions he would probably say, “Dad, it’s great” and “The property looks awesome.”
But Eric said he would never tell his father that the company had a “tax issue,” for example.
“No, no, no. There’s a difference,” he said.
Before taking office, the president bucked the advice of ethics lawyers who urged Trump to avoid conflicts by selling off his vast business interests and putting the money in a blind trust.
Instead, he pledged to place his assets in a trust run by his adult sons.
Documentation published by ProPublica earlier this month revealed the existence of a revocable trust — which was created “to hold assets for the exclusive benefit” of Trump — that is run by Donald Jr. and Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg.
Eric Trump, while not listed on that trust document, appears on other business registration paperwork and retains a key executive role with the Trump Organization.
Ethics experts have dismissed the trust as “window dressing” that does not ensure Trump will not abuse his office for personal gain.
Both sons dismissed such concerns to the Times.
“To use that as the way to enrich yourself is laughable,” Donald Jr. told the newspaper.
The Trump sons also pushed back on questions about their father’s use of his South Florida club Mar-a-Lago to entertain foreign guests. Trump brought Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the resort this weekend for a round of golf.
During the Times interview, Eric compared Mar-a-Lago to President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch, and said his father could potentially form alliances with world leaders at the club.
CNNMoney (New York) First published February 12, 2017: 4:27 PM ET