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Clause allows Trump to withdraw money from businesses

04 April 2017

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - President Trump's lawyers promised before he took office that he was "completely isolating himself" from his businesses. "Accordingly Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg are the sole decision makers for the organization".

"For tax purposes, it's as if the trust doesn't exist at all", senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, Steven Rosenthal, said.

He also dismissed the Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica as a "left-wing blog".

A change to the documents, which were signed February 10, says Trump's trustees "shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request" for any reason that it is deemed "appropriate".

A small phrase buried deep in a set of recently released letters between the Trump Organization and the government shows just how little separation there actually is.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in a statement to ProPublica that the president believes "multiple layers" were needed for transactions.

The trust language says the trustees can give Trump money at his request, or as they deem necessary for his "maintenance, support or uninsured medical expenses".

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Now, it has emerged that Mr Trump, or his lawyers, changed the wording of a trust document to allow him to remove money from any of his more than 400 businesses, at any time, and without disclosing it.

Mr. Trump has pledged to get reports only on the Trump Organization's basic financial performance, although that has no force of law. Eric Trump is the President of a large number of The Trump Organization's operating companies and is the Chairman of the Advisory Board.

The filing was revealed last week after the GSA, which oversees federal land, told the Trumps that the company is "in full compliance" with its lease for the Trump International Hotel, which is located in a federally owned building near the White House.

With Trump's hundreds of other businesses, including golf courses, hotels and branding deals, profits from each go to a holding company and eventually into Trump's trust.

Days before his inauguration on January 20, Mr Trump held a press conference in NY where he introduced a lawyer who outlined what he claimed was a trust that would protect against any allegations of a conflict of interest.

There soon could be many more Trump family businesses. "It's in the Trump boys' DNA".

Clause allows Trump to withdraw money from businesses