Euronews’ Washington Correspondent Stefan Grobe gives his view.
With the US presidential transition two weeks in, the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump faces an avalanche of conflict-of-interest troubles.
According to legal experts, Trump’s vast assortment of foreign business interests, never before seen in past presidencies, creates conditions that could open him up to foreign influence and tilt his decision-making as America’s executive-in-chief.
The Washington Post reports that foreign diplomats are already booking rooms at Trump’s Washington Hotel (a government building that Trump has leased), hoping to curry favour with the president-elect.
Trump interrupted his – at times – rocky transition schedule last week to meet with some of his business partners from India.
Meanwhile, Trump denied reports that he had asked the Argentinian president for help with building permits during the latter’s congratulatory phone call.
At an event at the Council on Foreign Relations, three former White House chiefs of staff, asked by Euronews, raised serious concerns over Trump’s opaque web of business activities and “potentially damaging” conflicts of interests.
William Daley, former Chief of Staff to President Obama
“He has got nine weeks to figure this out. They have got to figure something out, they cannot stand there at the Capitol and be sworn in and not have some game plan.”
Thomas McLarty, former Chief of Staff to President Clinton
“These are real issues, they are unprecedented and I just can’t fathom the President-Elect won’t address them in a serious, depth-full and I would say to the extent possible precise manner.”
Joshua Bolton, former Chief of Staff to President George W Bush
“I think it is potentially very damaging and my advice to the Trump administration would be to do not only what the law requires but what the public appearance requires and the confidence of the American people.”
All views – what our correspondent thinks
Euronews’ correspondent Stefan Grobe says in the end, the transition will be over.
However, the conflicts of interest between Trump the president and Trump the businessman will likely remain a serious issue once Trump is in the White House.