The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) on Wednesday offered high praise to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE for his announcement that he will leave his business and avoid conflicts of interest.
Trump tweeted early Wednesday that he would be leaving his "great business in total," in order to avoid conflicts of interest once sworn into office. Critics expressed concern before and after his announcement about potential conflicts of interest, particularly if Trump leaves his business in the hands of his family.
In a series of tweets, OGE gushed over Trump's move, writing: "We told your counsel we'd sing your praises if you divested, we meant it."
In other tweets, the agency wrote "Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, very good for America!" and "OGE applauds the 'total' divestiture decision. Bravo!" The tweets are listed in full below.
In a statement about the tweets, OGE spokesman Seth Jaffe said, "Like everyone else, we were excited this morning to read the President-elect's twitter feed indicating that he wants to be free of conflicts of interest. OGE applauds that goal, which is consistent with an opinion OGE issued in 1983. Divestiture resolves conflicts of interest in a way that transferring control does not. We don't know the details of their plan, but we are willing and eager to help them with it."
The agency's praise for Trump was so strong that many on Twitter speculated that OGE's account was hacked or that it was using biting sarcasm.
The Hill has reached out to OGE for more information about the legitimacy and seriousness of the tweets.
The OGE is an executive agency dedicated to providing leadership to the president to avoid such conflicts.
.@realDonaldTrump We can't repeat enough how good this total divestiture will be— U.S. OGE (@OfficeGovEthics) November 30, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, very good for America!— U.S. OGE (@OfficeGovEthics) November 30, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump OGE applauds the "total" divestiture decision. Bravo!— U.S. OGE (@OfficeGovEthics) November 30, 2016
.@realDonalTrump As we discussed with your counsel, divestiture is the way to resolve these conflicts.— U.S. OGE (@OfficeGovEthics) November 30, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump this divestiture does what handing over control could never have done.— U.S. OGE (@OfficeGovEthics) November 30, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump - we told your counsel we'd sing your praises if you divested, we meant it.— U.S. OGE (@OfficeGovEthics) November 30, 2016
OGE tweet theories: misplaced praise, sneaky condescension, hacked account, inside knowledge of divestiture plans.— John Wonderlich (@JohnWonderlich) November 30, 2016
So... OGE's Twitter feed wasn't hacked? https://t.co/oXYOmDIsTa— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) November 30, 2016