Trump sons will oversee father's business

US president-elect Donald Trump says he is separating himself from his global business empire by transferring his assets into a trust and putting his two oldest sons in charge.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Trump said he would resign from all positions overseeing hotels, golf courses and hundreds of other businesses to help ensure that he will not consciously take actions as president that would benefit him personally.

Trump says that unlike other government officials, he is not required to steer clear of conflicts of interest.

"I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don't like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to," Trump said.

Ethics experts said the arrangement did not go far enough.

"Mr. Trump's ill-advised course will precipitate scandal and corruption," said Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics adviser under Democratic President Barack Obama.

Trump appears to be still involved with his business while preparing to take office, saying he had turned down a $2 billion development deal in Dubai he had been offered over the weekend.

"I didn't have to turn it down because as you know I have a no-conflict situation because I'm president," he said.

Sheri Dillon, a lawyer for Trump, said profits generated at Trump's hotels by foreign governments will be donated to the US Treasury.

The Trump Organisation will not enter into any new overseas deals while Trump is president and will only undertake domestic projects after a company ethics adviser has approved them, said Dillon.

Trump will only know of those deals if he hears about them through the news media, Dillon said.

Trump's daughter, Ivanka, is to have no further involvement with management authority in the group, she said.

Trump has appointed her husband, Jared Kushner, to a senior advisory role in the White House.

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