Political News

Former Trump Organization executive says investigations are 'a challenge'

Posted June 12, 2019 11:12 a.m. EDT

— President Donald Trump is "wired" to hit back at anyone he believes is criticizing him -- a habit a recently departed Trump Organization executive says can sometimes "create an even bigger adversary."

Longtime compliance officer George Sorial, who this week released a book about his time working for Trump, told CNN in an interview this week that Trump's behavior in office is consistent with what he saw over the years.

"That's just how he's wired. He's a firm believer in hitting back," Sorial said. "I think counterpunching is part of his personality."

When asked if that reaction ever hurts the President, Sorial acknowledged that it can.

"Sometimes when you attack an adversary, you create an even bigger adversary," Sorial said. "In essence, you create a monster."

Sorial's departure this month comes as the Trump Organization is under increasing scrutiny by the Democratic-led House, as well as federal and state law enforcement in New York, over its accounting and business practices.

The President on Tuesday praised Sorial's book, "The Real Deal: My Decade Fighting Battles and Winning Wars with Trump." The book is being published by an imprint of HarperCollins that deals with conservative ideas.

Sorial told CNN that the myriad investigations pose a challenge for the President's company, which is run by his two eldest sons while Trump holds office.

"I would be disingenuous if I didn't admit that," Sorial said. "It is a challenge, of course, but it's a challenge that we will meet and defeat. I don't think anyone is laying up at night worrying about these ongoing investigations."

Sorial was named chief compliance counsel for the Trump Organization following Trump's election. The role was created as part of a larger effort to monitor and address potential conflicts of interest.

Sorial became the primary liaison between the Trump Organization and congressional Democrats who have launched multiple investigations of the President's business.

In his interview with CNN, he singled out the House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, who has blasted Trump for breaking presidential precedent by refusing to divest himself from his businesses entirely.

"Privately and publicly, we've offered to sit down and talk to him about some of these things," Sorial says. "But what you have here is that there's politics. There's no interest in finding fact. They're out to bring down anyone that's in [Trump's] circle to make him look bad. That's why meetings like the one I suggested have never taken place."

A Democratic congressional aide responded that the Constitution gives Congress the power to ensure the President is complying with the Constitution.