Priebus: Trump’s White House counsel will ensure no conflicts of interest

Posted at 2:08 PM, Nov 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-20 14:08:45-05

Donald Trump’s soon-to-be chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday that the incoming White House counsel will be tasked with making sure there are no conflicts of interest with the real estate mogul’s business empire.

Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Reince Priebus (R) shakes hands with Republican presidential elect Donald Trump (L) during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” Priebus said Americans shouldn’t be concerned with potential pay-to-play schemes in a Trump administration despite reports that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who helms part of the family’s business portfolio, sat in on Trump’s meeting last week with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“We’ve been at this for a few days. I mean, this is ridiculous. Let’s just kind of take a deep breath. The point is, what Americans should see from President-elect Trump is someone who, by being in action from the moment he was declared the winner, he was on a mission to bring everyone together,” Priebus said.

“That, to me, is what we should be celebrating. I think people should be encouraged by what they see. And I think it’s a real positive sign for the future of our country.”

Still, there are some signs Trump hasn’t completely cut ties with his business — and that foreign diplomats see Trump’s business empire as a way to win his favor.

Trump met last week with three Indian business partners building a property near Mumbai, The New York Times reported. And diplomats have been staying at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, spending money in hopes that Trump will notice, The Washington Post reported.

Tapper pressed Priebus on this topic, asking: “As White House chief of staff, you’re supposed to look out for any political or ethical minefields. Is it seriously the position of the Trump transition team that this is not a huge cauldron of potential conflicts of interest?”

And Priebus said: “Obviously we will comply with all of those laws and we will have our White House counsel review all of these things. We will have every ‘i’ dotted and every ‘t’ crossed, and I can assure the American people that there wouldn’t be any wrongdoing or any sort of undue influence over any decision-making.”