Ivanka Trump will take an official government role as an unpaid adviser to her father US President Donald Trump, the White House announced on Wednesday. The first daughter, 35, whose estate developer husband Jared Kushner also works as an unpaid senior advisor to the president, will not receive a salary for her work as a federal employee.
“We are pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter and in support of the president,” a White House statement said.
“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.”
Ivanka Trump’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, told the news website Politico last week that the president’s daughter will have access to classified information and be bound by the same rules that apply to other White House advisers who are on the government payroll.
“Our view is that the conservative approach is for Ivanka to voluntarily comply with the rules that would apply if she were a government employee, even though she is not,” Gorelick told the outlet
“Having an adult child of the president who is actively engaged in the work of the administration is new ground.”
Part of the novelty stems from the fact that relatives of elected officials cannot legally be hired for most federal jobs due to potential conflicts of interests.
Yet Trump succeeded in getting Kushner on board at the White House by arguing that the executive office of the president was not covered by federal anti-nepotism rules. Kushner said that by putting his interests in a trust, and not being paid for the job, he could avoid the rule.
Kushner’s family business has invested some $7bn in property acquisitions in the past decade, often with overseas partners – and his father-in-law now is formally in charge of financial regulation.
Two Democratic senators, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tom Carper of Delaware, sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday saying that Ivanka Trump’s “increasing, albeit unspecified, White House role … (has) resulted in substantial confusion,” and questioned how her ethics compliance would be ensured.