WASHINGTON — The provocative author who wrote a book alleging corruption between the Clintons and their philanthropy now says he sees similar conflicts of interest between Donald Trump and his business now that he’s President-elect.
Peter Schweizer, whose book, “Clinton Cash,” sent the Clinton campaign into damage control as she kicked off her bid in spring 2015, said he foresaw attempts by foreign actors to ingratiate themselves to Trump’s children, who will take over the President-elect’s business empire. That could be an attempt to curry favor with the White House.
“The hope is that safeguards are being put in place, that the Trump Organization leadership is on guard for precisely this type of scenario,” Schweizer told CNN’s Michael Smerconish. “Because I think, based on history, it’s only a question of time when these kind of offers are made. And if they take these offers, it’s hugely problematic.”
The warning from Schweizer to the Republican President-elect is somewhat surprising given Schweizer’s past investigations into the Democratic nominee and his connections to former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior counselor. Schweizer was a senior editor-at-large at Breitbart News when Bannon led the site, and the two have co-authored stories together.
Schweizer said Trump would have a tougher time clearing his potential conflicts given that much of his assets were in real estate, rather than stocks.
Schweizer also said it would be a “great idea” for Trump to divest from the Trump Organization. He currently plans to merely hand over the reins to his children, even though they are some of his closest advisers and are serving on his presidential transition team.
He also recommended that the Trump Organization announce that they would not seek government contracts.
“That at least offers some assurance that they’re trying to create a bright line,” he said.