President-elect Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the Trump organization plans to donate “all foreign government payments made to his hotels” to the U.S. Treasury.
Trump's tax attorney says Trump will be donating “all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels” to the U.S. Treasury pic.twitter.com/KWBbL5RiPB
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 11, 2017
The unprecedented move immediately raised constitutional questions concerning money from foreign governments. MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent Ari Melber pointed out that the Constitution calls for rejection of gifts from foreign states, not donating them.
However, Trump’s attorneys claimed that “fair market profits are not emoluments, if they would accrue to [a] company” in absence of Trump being president, according to Melber.
Trump will also have an “ethics adviser” who reports directly to the president.
The explanation did not satisfy reporters and analysts who will surely continue to debate the legality of the plan. It was also unclear how the donations would be tracked and disclosed to the public.
Here are just some of the media reactions:
The bombshell came during a scheduled press conference on Wednesday, Trump's first since the election.