WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sold all of his shares in companies in June, his transition team said on Tuesday, a move that likely raised substantial cash ahead of the presidential election and could now ease concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
Trump's stock portfolio was worth roughly $40 million as of December 2015, the Washington Post said on Tuesday, citing a May financial disclosure. His portfolio at that time included shares in a number of banks, oil firms and other companies with business pending before the U.S. government, the Post said.
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Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in an email that Trump sold all of his shares, but he did not respond to questions about what Trump did with the sales proceeds or whether he withdrew from any other investments at the same time.
Selling his shares would reduce some potential for conflicts for the businessman-turned-politician as he prepares to take over the White House from President Barack Obama on Jan. 20. But it would not address concerns about Trump's personal and family businesses, which include hotels and golf resorts from Panama to Scotland.
Trump has said he will step back from running his business, but he has not given any detail about the arrangements.
During the presidential campaign, the Republican indicated he had pulled back from the stock market.
"I did invest, and I got out, and it was actually very good timing," he told Fox Business in an August interview.
The issue arose after Trump urged the government to cancel an order with Boeing Co for a revamped Air Force One presidential plane. The New York real estate developer, who defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election, said without citing proof that costs were out of control.
Trump had previously said he owned Boeing shares. Asked earlier on Tuesday whether the president-elect still owned them, Miller said he sold all his shares in June, but it was not clear at the time whether he was speaking only about Boeing stock.