House Speaker Paul Ryan is unbothered by President-elect Donald Trump’s business conflicts.
The Wisconsin Republican has no qualms about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest with Trump’s vast business empire, advising him to handle them “however he wants to.”
“This is not what I’m concerned about in Congress,” Ryan said Wednesday during an interview on CNBC. “I have every bit of confidence he’s going to get himself right with moving from being the business guy that he is to the president he’s going to become.”
Ryan praised Trump for “basically saying let’s just go unify this party, unify this country, get things done.”
“That’s exactly what I think people want to see,” he said. “What we’re seeing is what everybody was hoping to see, which is this is gonna be a business guy who becomes president who’s just gonna focus on getting the job done and fixing this country’s big problems. I’m excited.”
That business guy, however, has a multi-billion-dollar empire that could present numerous conflicts of interest as president. Trump has said he will leave his business to his adult children in a so-called “blind trust.”
But his children have served as close advisers to the president-elect and his campaign, sitting in on meetings and calls with foreign leaders and holding formal roles on Trump’s transition into the White House. By no definition would Trump’s children taking over his business empire constitute a blind trust.
But Ryan said his focus is on passing a conservative agenda that tackles the country’s big problems and turns it around. “That is what I’m focused on,” he said, “and not the legal details of how he divorces himself from his business, which I know he will.”