Politics

Ivanka Trump To Be Official Federal Employee

| by Lauren Briggs

Ivanka Trump is going to be officially employed by the government.

She will serve as an assistant to the president and will not receive any payment for her work, reports The New York Times.

"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 spokeswoman told The Times in an email. "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."

Earlier in March, the first daughter, who has an office in the West Wing of the White House, announced that she would be an informal adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, although she received widespread criticism from experts on ethics laws who said that an informal role would shield her from certain transparency rules to which official employees would be beholden.

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"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 on March 29. "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."

Jamie S. Gorelick, Ivanka's lawyer, said that she will have to file financial disclosure forms and will "be bound by the same ethics rules that she had planned to comply with voluntarily."

Gorelick also added that "her openness to opposing points of view" was in part what drove her to become an official employee.

Ivanka will not be the first president's child to be employed by the White House. Throughout history, 16 presidential children have been employed by their fathers, although an anti-nepotism law from the days of former President John F. Kennedy has reduced that, according to TIME.

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"The anti-nepotism law apparently has an exception if you want to work in the West Wing because the President is able to appoint his own staff," Trump's adviser, Kellyanne Conway, told MSNBC in late 2016, according to TIME. "Of course, this came about to stop maybe family members from serving on the Cabinet, but the President does have discretion to choose a staff of his liking."

Sources: The New York Times, TIME / Photo credit: Marc Nozell/Wikimedia Commons

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