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Trump vows to ‘remove’ himself from business to avoid conflicts of interest when he is president

President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney dine at Jean Georges restaurant, Tuesday in New York City. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney dine at Jean Georges restaurant, Tuesday in New York City. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – Donald Trump promised Wednesday to ‘remove’ himself from his businesses and said he will announce details in two weeks about how he’ll avoid conflicts of interest when he is president.

Trump used his favorite method of communicating with the public – Twitter – to announce plans for a “major news conference” on Dec. 15 to discuss plans to leave the Trump Organization.

His adult children, whom he has said he will put in charge of the company, will be a part of the news conference.

Trump owns or has a position in more than 500 companies, according to a CNN analysis. That includes about 150 that have done business in at least 25 foreign countries, including Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

There have been growing questions about the potential conflicts of interest posed by Trump’s continued business interests and his role as president. A poll by CNN found that 6 in 10 Americans believe Trump is not doing enough to address conflicts of interest.

His tweets said he is not mandated to leave his business by law, but that “I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.”

Trump also said he is doing so “in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again.” Legal documents are being crafted which take him completely out of business operations, he claimed. “The Presidency is a far more important task!”

The fact that he will hold a news conference is significant in itself. He has gone longer than any other recent president-elect without holding a press conference.

Most did it within the first three days following their election.

While Trump has sat down for interviews with some journalists, including Leslie Stahl from 60 Minutes and the New York Times, he has not held a press conference since July 27, which was shortly after the Republican National Convention.