Tracking Donald Trump's Ethics-Related Promises and Conflicts Of Interest Donald Trump and his team have committed to certain steps that touch on ethics and conflicts-of-interest concerns. We offer context and look for evidence to track progress of those promises.
NPR logo Trump Ethics Monitor: Has The President Kept His Promises?

Trump Ethics Monitor: Has The President Kept His Promises?

Updated on Jan. 17, 2018

A year into his presidency, Donald Trump continues to own stakes in hundreds of businesses, both in this country and abroad.

Ethics experts have criticized his frequent taxpayer-funded trips to his own hotels and golf courses, which give the properties free publicity. Watchdog groups have filed lawsuits alleging violations of anti-corruption provisions in the U.S. Constitution. Questions continue to be raised about the influence of Trump's financial interests overseas on his foreign policy decisions.

Trump has noted that presidents are exempt from the conflict of interest rules that apply to Cabinet members and other government employees. Past presidents have complied voluntarily with the ethics rules.

But Trump and his team did commit — before the inauguration — to certain steps that touched on some of the ethics and conflict of interest concerns. The Trump Ethics Monitor below focuses on those early promises and tracks their status.


The key questions we asked are whether Trump has claimed to make progress on his promises and what evidence has been reported to show it.

We identified the promises and related assertions by checking debate transcripts, listening to campaign speeches and following press conferences. We track updates through released documents, reports by NPR and other media as well as comments from the White House and the Trump Organization. For broader context, we spoke with Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis and leading independent scholar on government ethics. Here's what we found:

NPR's Tamara Keith, Peter Overby and Jackie Northam contributed to this report.