President-elect Donald Trump will retain ownership of his company while shifting assets into a trust managed by his sons, a step that Trump and his advisers said will eliminate potential conflicts of interest between his public duties and private business.

The move, announced Wednesday in Trump’s first news conference since July, followed weeks of criticism from ethics experts and congressional Democrats who have said his financial entanglements could improperly steer his presidential decision-making.

The announcement included a pledge from a Trump lawyer that the company would make “no new foreign deals whatsoever” during Trump’s presidency and that any new domestic deals would undergo vigorous review, including approval by an independent ethics adviser.

In addition, Trump is giving up his position as an officer at the company, the Trump Organization, ceding all management responsibilities and agreeing to what his lawyers described as strict limits on communications with company executives beyond receiving regular profit-and-loss statements.

Sheri Dillon, a tax adviser at global law firm Morgan Lewis, said Trump has sought to isolate himself from the business that will be managed by Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and company executive Allen Weisselberg.

Trump, she said, “will only know of a deal if he sees it in the paper or on TV.” She added that Trump also terminated all pending international deals.

But Trump’s continued financial stake in a global real estate and branding company is likely to remain a point of contention between the president-elect and federal ethics officials, who have said that full divestiture remains the only way to prevent conflicts.

Dillon, who also wrote a widely shared letter last year that asserted Trump’s tax returns were under audit, argued that taking steps recommended by some vocal ethics experts would trigger additional problems. A sell-off would have created additional conflicts, she said, while a blind trust would have been unrealistic for a real estate company with high-profile assets.

The announcement inspired an unusual, and highly critical, response from the top federal official at the agency that works closely with presidential transition teams to ensure they abide by ethics requirements.

Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics, took the stage at a Wednesday event for the Brookings Institution think tank to say that Trump’s decision “doesn’t meet the standards … that every president of the past four decades has met.”

Shaub, appointed by President Obama in 2013, said the trust “adds nothing to the equation” because it’s “not even close” to a blind trust, and he called other Trump provisions “wholly inadequate.”

Shaub, whose agency administers financial disclosure filings and advises executive-branch officials on avoiding conflicts of interest, does not have the power to force Trump’s hand. The director said he spoke out in hopes the president-elect would fully divest.

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