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Trump Says He Intends to Dissolve Controversial Charitable Foundation

  • VOA News

President-elect Donald Trump takes a question from a member of the media at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, Dec. 21, 2016.

President-elect Donald Trump said on Saturday he intends to dissolve his charitable foundation, which is currently under investigation in ((northeastern)) New York state, in an effort to avoid any conflicts of interest before he takes office in January.

Trump gave no timeline for closing the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Since he won the November 8 presidential election, Trump's vast portfolio of U.S. and overseas business interests as well as his foundation have come under increased scrutiny.

"The foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children," Trump said in a statement Saturday.

"However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways," it continued.

In October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had ordered Trump's charitable foundation to immediately stop soliciting contributions because it was not registered in the state to seek public donations.

The state order followed a series of reports in The Washington Post that suggested improprieties by the foundation, including using its funds to settle legal disputes involving Trump businesses, and how much money he has actually given away.

Trump said he has directed his counsel to take the necessary steps to implement the charity's dissolution.

On Saturday, however, Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman's office, told Reuters news agency the president-elect cannot shutter the foundation while the investigation is ongoing.

"The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete," Spitalnick told Reuters.

Spitalnick would not comment to Reuters on an expected completion date for the investigation.

Trump takes office on January 20.

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