White House, Trump Organization Name Ethics Advisers

Associated Press

Bernard Condon & Chad Day

January 25, 2017

President Donald Trump and his hotel and real estate business on Wednesday separately named ethics counselors, the latest step in the president’s plan to address conflicts-of-interest concerns that arise from his decision to maintain financial ties to his company.

Trump selected Washington attorney Stefan Passantino as his White House ethics adviser, press secretary Sean Spicer said. The announcement came the same day Trump’s company tapped a former George H.W. Bush campaign lawyer and a longtime company executive as in-house ethics monitors.

The moves come two weeks after Trump announced his plan to separate himself from his company and ensure that his two adult sons recently charged with running the company won’t use their father’s position to help the business. Ethics experts, including the head of the Office of Government Ethics, have criticized the plan, saying it doesn’t do enough to ensure that Trump won’t make decisions as president that personally benefit himself, his family or his company.

Spicer said that Passantino will head a team of people in the White House who will oversee the administration’s adherence to federal ethics laws and rules.