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U.S. Office of Government Ethics Goes on Major Tweetstorm to PRAISE Trump


Donald Trump flags (Gage Skidemore at Wikimedia Commons)The U.S. Office of Government Ethics went on a major tweetstorm this afternoon, apparently praising President-elect Donald Trump for his decision to take steps to separate himself from his business empire.  As you may recall, on Wednesday morning, Trump went on a mini-tweetstorm of his own, pledging to do away with the appearance of any conflicts of interest.

While some legal experts are still skeptical about Trump’s plan, the U.S. Office of Government Office apparently does not have any problems with it. They are quite the authority on this subject. The OGE is an agency tasked with directing policies on how to prevent conflicts of interest in the executive branch. Here’s what the office tweeted out this afternoon from their official Twitter account about Donald Trump’s big announcement:

It’s unclear if these rapid fire tweets are legitimate or if the agency is the target of a hacking. LawNewz is digging for more information. However, so far, they appear to be legitimate. What is particularly interesting about these tweets is they laud Trump for committing to FULLY DIVESTING his company stake (selling off his investments) — even though Trump hasn’t actually said he would do that publicly! The question is: Do the lawyers at OGE know more about this apparent deal in works? Did they just scoop the President-elect?

On Wednesday morning, Trump simply tweeted out that he will be holding a news conference on December 15 to discuss the fact that “I will be leaving my great business in total order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” He continued that while he is not mandated to do so under the law, he wanted to avoid any conflicts of interest with his various businesses. He continued, “legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.” You will note that Trump does not use the words “divest” in his tweets even though the Office of Government Ethics claims that is what he will be doing.  In his tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump said he will “leave” his businesses but does not indicate he will sell them off. It is possible that the OGE has more information and scooped the President-Elect by giving information out to the public before his news conference. OGE Department spokesperson Seth Jaffe later issued this statement:

Several reporters have noted that they have not been able to reach anyone from the Office of Government Ethics. The tweetstorm also raises legitimate questions about whether advice from the office is being kept confidential. The agency “never tweets about an individual federal official’s ethics issues unless they are announcing the conclusion of an enforcement action,” Brett Kappel, a Washington campaign-finance lawyer who has worked with OGE, told The Washington Post. 

LawNewz will update this article as we get more information. 

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Rachel Stockman is Editor in Chief of Law&Crime and The Law&Crime Network. She is a former local news reporter, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.