President-elect Donald Trump announced Saturday that he will dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation, citing a need to avoid conflicts of interest as president.
“The Foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children,” Trump said in a statement released by his transition team. “However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways.”
The foundation was the subject of intense scrutiny during Trump’s campaign and during the transition. It is under active investigation by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who ordered it to stop fundraising in the state earlier this year because it was not registered to do so under state law. The foundation’s practices of raising and spending money have also been questioned, with the Washington Post reporting that it appeared the foundation’s money had been used to settle lawsuits.
The transition statement did not offer details of how Trump would dissolve the group beyond saying he would “direct his counsel” to take the necessary steps. But Trump did praise the foundation in his statement, saying that “100% of the money” had gone to charity.
“I am very proud of the money that has been raised for many organizations in need, and I am also very proud of the fact that the Foundation has operated at essentially no cost for decades, with 100% of the money going to charity, but because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the Presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world, I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest,” Trump said.
The dissolution comes a day after Trump’s son Eric Trump announced plans to stop soliciting funds for his own charity.
Trump has yet to announce plans for how to avoid conflicts of interest between his presidency and his much larger company, the Trump Organization — he had pledged to outline those facts in a press conference earlier this month, before scuttling those plans.