“Ivanka, you’re hired.” We can almost imagine the words straight out of The Apprentice host-turned-President of the US Donald Trump. Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, has officially joined the staff of the White House in an unpaid but official capacity.
The decision of Ivanka Trump, 35, to become a federal employee was first reported by the New York Times. Her official title will be “Assistant to the President”. Her husband, 36-year old Jared Kushnet, already serves Donald Trump as Senior Advisor.
In All But Name
Up until her announcement, Ivanka Trump had already been working within the White House in an informal capacity. She had an office in the West Wing, and had been advising her father. She was basically a White House employee in all ways but in name. Ivanka had access to government communications, and even met with world leaders alongside the President.
However, that arrangement was criticized by some legal and ethics experts, such as Norman Eisen, who served under President Barack Obama. The criticism argued that it would allow Ivanka to avoid ethics, conflict-of-interest, and other rules covering White House employees. It essentially gave her the benefits of one working with the President, but none of the restrictions.
Ivanka’s official appointment seeks to address exactly those concerns.
“I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity, while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement Wednesday. “And I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all the same rules as other federal employees.”
Her lawyer Jamie S. Gorelick assured the public that Ivanka Trump would file the financial disclosure forms required of federal employees. She would also be subject to the same ethics rules as all the others.
The Right Woman For The Job
There were previously concerns raised about Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s appointments being signs of Nepotism. However, the Justice Department has already pointed out that anti-Nepotism laws didn’t apply to the case of White House employees.
Ivanka’s appointment may actually inspire some confidence in the White House. She herself is an astute businesswoman, having developed her own Ivanka Trump brand, separate from her father’s.
Ivanka learned the trade at the Wharton School of Business. After graduation, she started out doing “grunt” work in an entry level position for Forest City Enterprises. By the time she finally returned to her father’s company, and built her own, she knew she had “something to offer beyond her last name.”
The Trump administration has started off with an extremely divisive fallout among the American public. Perhaps Ivanka has an idea or two for the next step.