Throughout the course of his campaign, it became clear that President Donald Trump greatly valued loyalty and viewed his family as some of the most loyal. That by itself isn’t necessarily a bad trait, but when you’re in a position of power, you have to be careful of showing favoritism to family members.
Unfortunately, Trump’s reliance on his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner does appear somewhat inappropriate. For example, Kushner was recently named to head Trump’s team on government innovation. The role of Ivanka Trump is less clear, but it has been rumored that she will soon be getting an office in the West Wing and was recently invited to the W20 summit by German Chancellor Angella Merkel.
In response to this, the Hill reports that two Democratic senators have written a letter to the director of the Office of Government Ethics asking for clarification regarding the steps Ivanka is taking to avoid financial and personal conflicts of interest. The letter, which was written by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tom Carper, said that Ivanka’s “increasing, albeit unspecified, White House role … [has] resulted in substantial confusion.”
‘We write today to request information about the ethics rules that President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, will be required to comply with, or has indicated she will voluntarily comply with, in her role as an ADVISER to the President’
The two senators also asked for clarification regarding what sort of ethical training Ivanka has undergone or if the White House had asked for any advice regarding the sort of ethical rules that would apply to Ivanka. They also asked whether or not the OGE or White House legal counsel would have any authority to impose disciplinary actions on Ivanka since she is not a government employee.
The letter also asks what sort of financial disclosure and ethical rules would apply to Ivanka if she were a government employee.
For her part, Ivanka has said that she would voluntarily comply with any ethical rules that would apply to federal employees.
While Democrats are understandably concerned over Ivanka’s role in the White House, there are plenty of Republicans who are equally upset. Writing in Cosmopolitan, Amanda Carpenter, who once served as Ted Cruz’s communications strategist accused the Trump administration of nepotism.
‘What’s she doing exactly? Nobody knows. What qualifies her? Apparently being the president’s daughter. There’s a word for this: nepotism. And it makes everything Ivanka has done up to this point to position herself as an example for working women into a farce. By taking this role, Ivanka is taking away a life-changing opportunity from another woman, who undoubtedly would have more expertise than the first daughter.’
At this point, it is unclear exactly what, if any, ethical guidelines will apply to Ivanka. Since she is not a federal employee she may not be required to follow the same ethical guidelines as others.
Carpenter’s issue is also an important one. We’re still not sure what Ivanka’s role will be, but there is likely another woman who is more qualified for it. Ivanka has no experience in government so giving her a role in the White House is a bit odd.
Featured image via Getty Images.