Politics

Conway: Trump Team Won’t Rule Out Ethics Rules Revision

Gingrich floats modification to accommodate president-elect's vast business empire

Kellyanne Conway said “it’s a possibility” that President-Elect Donald Trump could seek to alter White House ethics requirements because of the complexity of his vast business interests during an interview Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Conway, a senior adviser to the Trump transition team, commented on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Monday remarks in which he told NPR that “traditional rules don’t work” for Trump and his background in business. Saying that “we’ve never seen this kind of wealth in the White House,” Gingrich advocated thinking up “a whole new approach.” Conway addressed the concerns about Trump’s “complex” disentanglement from his business affairs, saying that the issue “is being worked on feverishly” and “around the clock.”

“People do modify rules according to the needs of the moment.”

“I suppose it’s a possibility,” Conway said of Gingrich’s suggestion, adding, “People do modify rules according to the needs of the moment.”

“All that is being discussed and, frankly, organized. Because there are protocols, there are lawyers, there’s great expense, frankly, to the Trump family in trying to figure this out,” Conway told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham. “It is complex, but it is being worked on feverishly. I know that because I confer with people who are working on it routinely so I make sure I know what’s happening.”

Saying that the American people should realize how much the Trumps have sacrificed “financially and otherwise just for him to run for president and now serve as president,” Conway noted that Trump’s exit strategy requires time because it involves “hundreds of millions in dollars of deals that either were never consummated or pursued and frankly can’t be without him.”

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Trump is expected to reveal his plan to handle his separation from business interests in January.

“It’s being worked on around the clock. We just need more time to do that,” Conway said. “But obviously he will be forthcoming and transparent about his business decisions.”

Noting that almost all other presidents from both sides of the political aisle just moved “from political job to political job,” Conway said that no other president has set a precedent by coming from a business background that created thousands of jobs and involved “assets across the globe on many continents and many different successful business interests.”

“Those in Congress and those on the other side — basically his political opponents and election deniers who are threatening, harassing, and intimidating our electors, who are doing #NotMyPresident and continue to protest because they haven’t been showing up at work every day — these people are all, they are going to continue to go into his business interests because they’re going to continue to delegitimize his election,” Conway said.

Ingraham agreed and directed a rhetorical question to at the Trump detractors, saying, “So you don’t want any successful business people to ever run for president? You don’t want any successful business people to ever be in the Cabinet?”

“You have to be able to have people who are successes in other fields be interested in trying to help America, otherwise we’re going to get the same hacks we’ve gotten year after year,” Ingraham said.

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When Ingraham brought up concerns about how the public views Trump’s efforts toward fulfilling his campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” Conway said Trump “can organize [his] affairs and still drain the swamp.”

“Draining the swamp is not just about lobbyists and politicians. It’s also about consultants,” Conway said. “Let me say that [Trump] is somebody who was able to run his campaign the way he runs most of his operations, which is under budget and on schedule and with great success when you compare it to other traditional campaigns, especially on the Republican side. We are cleaning up what I have referred to for years as ‘staff infection.'”

“We are going to inoculate, immunize, and eliminate what I call ‘staff infection,'” Conway added. “There’s no more notion of jobs for consultants — gross retainers who haven’t come up with a creative idea in 20 years and frankly never saw this coming — never understood America. Trump — while he’s draining it — I’m not going to let anybody throw more crocodiles into it.”

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