Donald Trump's web of limited liability companies makes it impossible to know the full extent of potential conflicts he may face as president, The Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the newspaper, the president-elect uses LLCs and other entities to house his assets. It notes those include everything from real estate to a vintage carousel in Manhattan's Central Park. The Journal said 15 entities are used to hold Trump's interest in two airplanes and three helicopters.
About $304 million — or half the revenue Trump reported in financial disclosure forms — are from assets held in 96 different LLCs, including the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., the Journal says.
The newspaper noted LLCs are often used for real estate because of tax advantages. Income and costs can be "passed through" to the owner and used to offset other profits or losses.
The paper reports none of the 96 LLCs it reviewed appeared to regularly release audited financial statements. It said that, combined with Trump's decision not to release his tax returns — makes it difficult to gauge potential conflicts between his businesses and responsibilities as president.
The complex web of Trump's business holdings is unprecedented for anyone moving into the Oval Office, according to the Journal.
For example, Trump's Boeing 757-200 is owned by DJT Operations I LLC, a limited liability company owned by the president-elect. That particular company leases to Tag Air Inc., another Trump company, which is owned by another limited liability company, DJT Operations II, the newspaper reports.
"We've never seen anything like this," the newspaper quotes Norman Eisen, President Barack Obama's former White House ethics lawyer.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports Trump will keep a stake in his business, despite formally turning over operational responsibility to his two adult sons.
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