President-elect Donald Trump hosted a tech summit at his tower on Wednesday, inviting titans of the industry to meet with his team to discuss the new administration. CEOs from Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft and other leading tech firms attended the meeting — so did Trump's children.
— Geektime (@geektime) December 14, 2016
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Trump said his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, would manage his business empire while he is in office. "My executives will run it with my children," he said. "I'm going to have nothing to do with management."
Despite these assurances, Trump's children still have a looming presence on their father's transition team. On Wednesday, it was reported that Donald Jr. helped interview candidates for Interior secretary. Ivanka Trump, the president-elect's eldest daughter, has reportedly sat in meetings with foreign leaders. These developments have prompted serious concerns about possible conflicts of interest.
Ethics lawyers have already highlighted glaring conflicts involving Trump's business interests. The Office of Government Ethics wrote in a statement on Monday that "transferring operational control of a company to one's children would not constitute the establishment of a qualified blind trust, nor would it eliminate conflicts of interest."
Questions involving Trump's businesses are about as murky as questions involving Trump's transition team. Who has the ear of the president-elect, who has influence over his thought process, are questions that remain unanswered. During the meeting with tech leaders on Wednesday, Trump revealed there is no real organizational structure at Trump Tower, insisting his team has "no formal chain of command."
Trump to tech leaders: "You'll call my people, you'll call me—it doesn't make any difference—we have no formal chain of command around here" pic.twitter.com/F4jBKA38zU — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) December 14, 2016