Ivanka Trump announced on March 29 that she’ll be taking an unpaid White House position as special assistant to her father, President Donald Trump. It’s a controversial move considering husband Jared Kushner is also a Senior Advisor. Is their appointment clean, or is this nepotism?
President Donald Trump, 70, has now given his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, 35, an official White House role. The appointment comes just weeks after an already iffy decision to allow her security clearance and an office in the West Wing, despite not being a government employee, which some have derided as pure nepotism.
Though her role as her father’s assistant is unpaid, it now means that Ivanka is an influential figure in the White House, along with husband Jared Kushner, 35, the president’s Senior Advisor. Ivanka said in her statement announcing the role that her promotion was directly because people were uncomfortable with her position in the White House:
“I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees,” she said in a statement on March 29. “Throughout this process, I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House Counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role.”
Unprecedented is right. Ivanka’s White House job, even if unpaid, very narrowly skirts the legality of a president hiring someone of close relations. Having son-in-law Jared Kushner on the White House roster has already drawn massive criticism; hiring his daughter to the federal government is worse in those regards.
Both Ivanka and Jared have zero political experience, and are being handed jobs that some people work their whole lives to obtain. Jared just announced himself that he’ll be the chair of the newly-formed Office of American Innovations, a counsel that takes business practices and applies them toward governmental problems. Again, all people in the office, including Jared, especially Jared, have little-to-no political experience.
The White House released their own statement following Ivanka’s, praising her new position: “Ivanka’s service as an unpaid employee furthers our commitment to ethics, transparency, and compliance and affords her increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously.”
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