Donald Trump Jr says he has ‘zero contact’ with father as he runs business

Presidents older son, speaking to Republicans at a fundraiser in Dallas, says he does not miss politics but does miss the intensity of campaigning

Donald Trump Jr said he has had essentially zero contact with the president of the United States since his father took office and handed management of his business, without divesting, to his two adult sons.

I basically have zero contact with him at this point, Trump Jr told about 1,000 Republicans at a fundraiser in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday night.

Federal law exempts the president from ethics rules regarding conflicts of interest, but the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), as well as conservative and liberal attorneys, have repeatedly told the White House its plan to separate Trump from his businesses does not go far enough. In January, Trump declined to divest from his sprawling business interests, the extent of which remains unclear, given his refusal to release tax returns in the tradition of other presidents.

The White House has insisted that Trump has taken sufficient steps to remove himself from his businesses, promising, for instance, to give payments from foreign government guests, such as diplomats courted at Trumps new Washington hotel, to the US treasury. In January, a group of ethics attorneys, including former counsels to George W Bush and Barack Obama, sued Trump, alleging that such payments violated the emoluments clause of the constitution.

Trump has said that his sons, 39-year-old Donald Jr and 33-year-old Eric, would take over day-to-day business management, and both continue to travel extensively in the US and abroad in the service of their family business. At the Republican fundraiser, Trump Jr said he missed elements of the presidential campaign.

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