Deal or no deal: Donald Trump’s business will continue to pursue deals in the United States, though not abroad, while he is president, and he will relinquish control of the company, a lawyer who worked with the Trump Organization on the plan says today. The Associated Press reports Trump will put his business assets in a trust and take other steps to isolate himself from his company, according to Sheri Dillon of Morgan Lewis, who spoke at Trump’s first news conference since his Nov. 8 election. The announcement appears to contradict what Trump had said in a tweet last month—”no new deals” while in the White House. The plan also falls short of what some government ethics experts have urged Trump to do—sell his assets and put the cash in a blind trust overseen by an independent manager, as many recent presidents have done. Dillon said that was not practical, and that Trump “should not be expected to destroy the company he built.” Read the full story.
Pump the brakes: The largest U.S. business lobby group says it could be a mistake to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act without developing a replacement health care insurance plan and urged the incoming Trump administration not to erect trade barriers. As Reuters reports, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce faces challenges with the next U.S. president and his team, including overcoming deep divisions on key issues like trade while trying to work together on common goals like repealing President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health care law. The group opposed that restructuring, which extended medical coverage to millions of Americans, as an unnecessary burden on business. The Republican-controlled Congress earlier this month began working to repeal it. Read the full story.
Use the force: Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today that attempts to undermine U.S. democracy, such as the Russian hacking efforts to influence the election, are not new, but the United States and its allies should have supported a more forceful response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. As FuelFix.com reports, Tillerson also acknowledged that man-made climate change is real, but questioned what impact it would have, essentially sticking to the position he expressed as Exxon CEO. Tillerson, 64, is seeking confirmation as secretary of state after his nomination by President-elect Donald Trump and a career spent at Exxon, including more than decade as chief executive. In morning testimony, senators focused on two areas: his views on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, and climate change. Read the full story.