Donald Trump met today with reporters and editors of the New York Times. He walked back most of his campaign promises. He won’t prosecute Hillary Clinton. He won’t bring back torture. He didn’t actually mean to do anything he said. He has an open mind about climate change.


But this was the most astonishing thing he said:



But pressed to respond to criticism in other areas, he was defiant. He declared that “the law’s totally on my side” when it comes to questions about conflict of interest and ethics laws. “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”


He said it would be extremely difficult to sell off his businesses because they are real estate holdings. He said that he would “like to do something” to address ethics concerns, and he noted that he had turned over the management of the businesses to his children.


But he insisted that he could still have business partners into the White House for grin-and-grab photographs. He said that critics were pressuring him to go beyond what he was willing to do, including distancing himself from his children while they run his businesses.


“If it were up to some people,” he said, “I would never, ever see my daughter Ivanka again.”


Mr. Trump rejected the idea that he was bound by federal anti-nepotism laws against installing his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in a White House job. But he said he would want to avoid the appearance of a conflict and might instead seek to make him a special envoy charged with brokering peace in the Middle East.