Ivanka Trump's Company Says It Won't Be Involved In Politics, But That Seems Unrealistic
President-elect Donald Trump will be entering office with more business interests than any prior president, a fact which has led to concerns over conflicts of interest. His daughter Ivanka Trump's company won't be involved in politics, its editorial team said in a statement. But given that Ivanka's jewelry company recently had to apologize for promoting a $10,800 bracelet she wore during her family's 60 Minutes appearance, it seems a little unrealistic for either Ivanka or her company to stay out of politics completely.
Ivanka's company is named after her; while her now personal Twitter account used to serve as an account for the company's interests as well, its staff recently created social media accounts separate from the eldest Trump daughter. But the fact remains that while it has her name, Ivanka's fashion and lifestyle brand will continue to be associated with whatever politics she involves herself in.
"Our company’s mission is not political—it never was and it never will be—however, Ivanka, personally, has an increased opportunity to advocate for women and be a positive force for change," Ivanka's eponymous company's editorial team wrote. "As a private citizen, with full awareness of her heightened visibility, she will broaden her efforts to take a stance on issues of critical importance to American women and families." Ivanka's company made no promises about her actions as a private citizen, but even on her own time, Ivanka being involved in politics seems to be delving into murky waters. This is especially the case considering Donald has said his three eldest children will be running his businesses while he serves as president.
While there is no actual law saying presidents have to put their interests in a blind trust, Donald has in the past claimed he will use one. A blind trust involves having an independent trustee assume control of Trump's businesses and properties, while maintaining no contact with Trump and his administration. Strangely enough, Donald's version of a blind trust entails having his children Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric run his business operations —which is actually pretty much the opposite of the definition of a blind trust.
Several sources have pointed out that it would be unrealistic for Donald to use a blind trust, including longtime surrogate former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. During an appearance on CNN, Giuliani claimed using an actual blind trust would put Donald's children out of work, saying, "It's kind of unrealistic to say you're going to take the business away from the three people who are running it and give it to some independent person. And remember, they can't work in the government because of the government rule against nepotism."
Still, Donald's three eldest children are all on his transition team, which instantly seems inappropriate if they're supposed to be uninvolved in politics. Ivanka herself was reportedly involved in writing her father's child care and maternity leave policy, and she sat in on Donald's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. If Ivanka wants to avoid accusations of nepotism and conflicts of interest, she needs to draw a clear line between herself and politics, much in the same vein as her company just did. And then Ivanka — both the company and the Trump daughter — will need to follow through on their promises.