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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Ivanka formally made advisor to father President Trump

“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.

world Updated: Mar 30, 2017 19:46 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Ivanka Trump will not receive a salary for her work as a federal employee.
Ivanka Trump will not receive a salary for her work as a federal employee.(AP FIle Photo)

US President Donald Trump’s elder daughter Ivanka Trump has joined his administration as an unpaid federal employee, ostensibly to address questions of ethics raised about her increasingly high-profile presence by her father’s side.

Ivanka, who already has a office in the West Wing of the White House, will be given the title of assistant to the president but has not been given a specified role.

“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,” Ivanka said in a statement.

“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,” she said.

Ivanka Trump joins her husband Jared Kushner in the Trump administration. Kushner is a senior advisor considered very close to the president and was recently assigned the task of upgrading the federal government.

Even before Trump took office, the couple was expected to play a significant role in the administration and moved their family to Washington, cutting ties with their respective businesses — Kushner ran a family business in real-estate and Trump had a lines of accessories named after her.

While Kushner was a regular as an adviser, Ivanka would join her father occasionally, and with increasingly frequency, at high-level meetings and appearances with visiting foreign such as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Eyebrows were raised when videos and pictures emerged of her at the president’s delegation-level meeting with the visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where a beaming President Trump introduced her and thanked her for joining them.

Ivanka is used to being seen with her father and working with him from her time as part of the Trump Organisation, where she and her siblings Don Trump Jr and Eric Trump had adjacent offices on a floor just below their father’s.

But the country is not. Questions were raised about the ethics of it, especially after she was assigned a room at the White House. While she seemed to be enjoying all the status of a West Wing job, she was not subject to any oversight.

Questions of nepotism surfaced but collapsed against the same legal advice that allowed President Trump to circumvent the country’s anti-nepotism law when he appointed Kushner — he was joining his White House staff, not the administration.

The law, which was passed to prevent Robert Kennedy from being appointed to an administrative position by another President, John F Kennedy, prohibits executive branch officials from appointing relatives to executive branch positions.

The White House staff is exempted, the office of legal counsel at the department of justice had ruled, clearing Kushner’s entry into the White House.

Ivanka Trump had had often been spoken about as the real First Lady as Melania Trump had appeared to be a reluctant owner of that mantle. And she has stayed on New York till their son, Barron Trump, completes his school year.

First Published: Mar 30, 2017 08:13 IST