Campaign Adviser Says Bloomberg Will Sell His Company If Elected President

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Michael Bloomberg

Tim O’Brien told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the billionaire will divest Bloomberg LP if elected and will also release his tax returns.

An adviser to Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign says that the billionaire will sell his media and information company if he is elected president.

Tim O’Brien told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview Tuesday that Bloomberg will divest Bloomberg LP if elected president and will also release his tax returns, unlike President Donald Trump.

“There will be no confusion about any of his financial holdings blurring the line between public service and personal profiteering,” O’Brien said. “We will be 180 degrees from where Donald Trump is on these issues.”

Independence at Bloomberg LP has been a hot-button issue since Bloomberg entered the race. The company enacted new rules limiting investigations into Bloomberg and his Democratic primary competitors, sparking confusion among staff about what is acceptable reporting and what crosses the line.

If he sells the company after being elected president, Bloomberg the media and information company would presumably be free to cover the presidency without restrictions. In the past, Bloomberg has suggested that he would also consider placing the company in a blind trust if elected president, though O'Brien's unambiguous comments Tuesday suggest that is off the table.

O’Brien, a former editor at The New York Times and Huffington Post, was most recently executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion. He also is one of the few journalists to know details of Trump’s finances, stemming from a lawsuit Trump filed against him in 2009 alleging that O’Brien committed “actual malice” when he wrote in his book TrumpNation that Trump‘s net worth was in the hundreds of millions, and not the billions. Trump lost the suit in 2011.