- The Washington Times - Friday, January 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mainstream media is in a frenzy trying to outline President-elect Donald Trump’s potential business conflicts, and weren’t satisfied with his plans announced Wednesday to separate himself from his billion-dollar empire.

Trump’s plans on business may fall short,” the New York Times wrote.

“Government ethics chief blasts Trump over plans for business,” a CNN headline declared.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden said in an interview with NBC News that Mr. Trump hadn’t done enough to address ethics concerns, and that Mr. Trump “may sink the swamp.”

Yet, Americans — and especially Mr. Trump’s voters — don’t seem overly concerned.

A new Pew Research Poll found that 42 percent of Americans were “not at all” or “not too” concerned about Mr. Trump’s potential conflicts of interest. Nearly a quarter were “somewhat” concerned, and only 33 percent were “very concerned.”

The poll divides sharply along party lines.

Fifty-nine percent of Democrats, or those who lean Democrat, are “very” concerned about Mr. Trump’s business conflicts, whereas only 7 percent of Republicans are.

Moreover, according to the survey, the number of people very concerned about Mr. Trump’s businesses affecting his decisions as president has decreased by the month, despite the continual media outcries of potential corruption.

“Public concern is lower than it was in the immediate aftermath of the election: In December, 65 percent said they were at least somewhat concerned about Trump’s ability to serve the country’s best interests,” the Pew study said. “The share saying they are very concerned about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest is down 12 points, from 45% a month ago.”

Among Mr. Trump’s supporters, the issue doesn’t seem concerning at all — they knew he was a billionaire when he was running for office, and don’t expect him to totally divest himself from his businesses to serve as president of the United States.

“If we expect successful people to give up their wealth to be POTUS, we will be stuck with professional politicians,” Trump voter Philip Cummings wrote on Twitter, responding to a question of whether he is concerned about Mr. Trump’s business plan.

George Murphy, who also cast his ballot for Mr. Trump, hopes he can translate his wealth and success into Main Street.

“No,” he said in responding if he was concerned over Mr. Trump’s business conflicts. “I want he think about how he can make all businesses more profitable and productive! I want that to be the key driver.”

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