Trump conflicts of interest just beginning

Carlos Barria  Reuters

Carlos Barria Reuters

Trump also appears to have used $258,000 of his foundation's money - legally earmarked for charitable purposes - to settle lawsuits involving two of his for-profit clubs.

This weekend, while many of us were unwrapping holiday presents, Donald Trump announced that he would be wrapping up his Trump Foundation, and in doing so, recognized the perception of a conflict of interest is an issue. On Saturday, his transition team released a statement that said he meant to take steps necessary for the dissolution of the foundation.

"I am very proud of the money that has been raised for many organizations in need, and I am also very proud of the fact that the Foundation has operated at essentially no cost for decades, with 100 percent of the money going to charity", Trump added.

"I gave millions of dollars to DJT Foundation, raised or received millions more, ALL of which is given to charity, and media won't report!"

This, however, is false as the Trump Foundation has already admitted to using some of its funding for non-charitable expenses, including purchasing oversized portraits of Trump, among other things.

"[The dissolution is] a wilted fig leaf to cover up his remaining conflicts of interest and his pitiful record of charitable giving", read the statement from the the Democratic National Committee.

"My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer because of a possible conflict of interest with my presidency", Trump tweeted. Prosecutors, however, are still probing the foundation's inner workings and whether Trump personally benefited from its spending. Katy Tur, who has covered Trump and his campaign for NBC News, shot back at Trump's claims saying on Twitter "This isn't true".

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Still, his company's multi-billion-dollar global footprint will likely continue to raise questions about Trump's motives as he is sworn in and begins to direct U.S. foreign policy.

However, the president-elect has not given anything to the foundation from 2009 until 2014; his businesses gave to the foundation in 2015 for the first time in several years, according to the Post.

Trump's claim that "ALL" of the donations to the foundation have gone to charitable causes was echoed in a follow-up tweet.

RealClearPolitics also reported in October that numerous Trump foundation's donations in recent years went to top conservative or policy groups that could aid Trump as he prepared for a White House run.

The investigation opened after reports that a $25,000 donation from the charity was given to a campaign fundraising group for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi who dropped her office's investigation into the now-president-elect's shady Trump University. Trump has said that his sons, Eric and Donald Jr., will take over his business, but a detailed plan has not been provided. The Times reported that Trump, too, plans to dissolve his family charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which is now under investigation by the NY attorney general and is now unable to fundraise as a result.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images News/Getty ImagesNEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks during a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, September 23, 2016 in New York City.