Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, praised president-elect Donald Trump for "moving in the right direction" on separating himself from his business empire.
"He's moving in the right direction, and he needs to instill the confidence that he's more than arm's length away," the congressman, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Politico.
Chaffetz, who supported Trump in the election – though at one point withdrawing his endorsement – agreed with the billionaire presidents are not legally obliged to sever ties with their businesses. He added it is "encouraging" Trump will step away despite not having to.
"The only obligation he has is that under the law; there are public perceptions that I'm sure they're keenly aware of," Chaffetz said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Politico that Trump's announcement Wednesday is "a good sign."
"The fact that he's going to have a news conference with his family and talk about how to avoid any appearance of conflicts of interest, it's a good sign," he said. "Does it make sense to me? I'm just going to wait . . . but I want to applaud him for recognizing the fact that it's a problem."
Democrats have questioned whether Republican leaders will apply the same scrutiny to Trump and his administration as they did with President Barack Obama.
"We're going to have vigorous oversight of the Trump administration," he said. "Of course, we will. My job is not to be the cheerleader for the president. But it's to make sure we're doing checks and balances. And that's precisely what we're going to do."
Some Democrats have written to GOP leaders, calling on them to investigate Trump to the same extent they investigated Obama.
"But it is a little ridiculous to send me six letters, before he's even been sworn in, to go on essentially fishing trips," Chaffetz added. "That's not what we do."
Although Chaffetz is not officially involved in the White House transition, he is in regular contact with the team, including incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who he said "has assured us that [Trump would] be in compliance with the law."
"That's his duty and obligation," Chaffetz said. "We'll let him get sworn in and see how it's structured."
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