What Is Ivanka Trump's Job In The White House? Her Role Has Raised Ethical Concerns
Ivanka Trump has been a regular presence by her father's side throughout his nascent political career. The new president's oldest daughter enjoys almost as widespread name recognition as Donald Trump himself, due to her successful jewelry and clothing line, as well as television appearances on The Apprentice. So it's little wonder that Ivanka's public role in Trump's administration engenders a good bit of media attention. Especially with the recent announcement that Ivanka Trump will play a substantial role in the White House.
On March 20, various outlets reported that Ivanka would be getting her own office in the West Wing, along with national security clearance that would give her access to classified information. This was not enormously surprising news, given her visible role to date. Ivanka was featured in released photos with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, she was notably seated right next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her recent visit, and she was infamously present for one of Trump's first meetings after Election Day, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
But even with this recognition of a more official Ivanka Trump role in the White House, many critics are questioning the ethical implications of her position. Without a proper title, Ivanka is not bound by the same ethics pledge taken by other members of Trump's inner West Wing circle, including Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner.
In an interview with NPR, Ivanka's attorney Jamie Gorelick commented on what her role would be, saying only that she will "continue to be the eyes and ears of her father and provide candid advice as she has for her entire adult life." Additionally, Gorelick noted that Ivanka will focus on issues that she personally feels strongly about, such as policies affecting women in the workplace.
This advisory position is unpaid, which will probably be approved of by both political sides. However, this remains a virtually unprecedented situation, with few examples in history of presidents essentially "hiring" their own family members to help run the nation. And it is especially problematic for Ivanka, given her extensive business interests and connections, including with a company owned by the Japanese government.
But with no official title, it appears Ivanka Trump will be advising her father while "voluntarily" abiding by the usual White House ethics policy.