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Trump Pushes Back Announcement on Business Conflicts of Interest

Trump had promised to answer questions on December 15 about on how he will separate himself from his business interests as president. Sources now say it will happen in January.
Image: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wears his \"Make America Great Again\" hat
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wears his "Make America Great Again" hat at a rally in Sacramento, Calif. on June 1, 2016.Jae C. Hong / AP, file

President-elect Donald Trump has canceled his planned Dec. 15 address set to explain how he would address his business conflicts of interest prior to assuming the White House, a senior transition source told NBC News. Instead, the announcement is delayed until January.

The news of the cancellation was first reported by Bloomberg Monday evening, with Trump transition officials telling the publication that there is no date for the announcement, but it will be prior to his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Trump's last press conference was 138 days ago in July (when he invited Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's email).

Late Monday, Trump tweeted that he would be "leaving my busineses (sic) before January 20th" so he could "focus full time on the presidency."

He added that "Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office."

Legal experts have noted that Trump's sprawling business interests make him the most conflict-of-interest-prone president in modern history. He controls more than 500 companies across many industries and spanning the globe.

Trump transition officials told Bloomberg that the president-elect wants more time to give his address because he has been occupied with filling out Cabinet and top administration positions.

Related: Donald Trump Talks Policy, Conflicts, Calls Idea Russians Helped Him 'Ridiculous'

On Sunday, Trump told Fox News he wouldn't be completely selling off his assets but would instead hand over the management to a team that would include his children.

"My executives will run it with my children. It's a big company, it's a great company. But I'm going to have nothing to do with management," he said.

But, since winning, Trump has already received criticism over his decisions to allow his daughter Ivanka into a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November.

Trump also said on Fox Sunday that he was turning down "billions of dollars of deals" when pressed on how this arrangement could still lead to conflicts on interest, including foreign countries booking events at his Washington, D.C., hotel.

"The money I spent [running for president] is peanuts compared to the money I won't make, and that's okay, because this is so important," Trump said.

Last month, the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page said the only solution for Trump to avoid any conflicts of interest was to liquidate his stake in his company.

On Monday night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's reported on her show that Newsweek magazine would have a "explosive" story about Trump's Turkish ties on the issue out Tuesday.