Donald Trump raised eyebrows last week when he gave his daughter, Ivanka Trump, a West Wing office, even giving her classified information clearance and a government-issued phone.
This proved an unpopular move, with growing confusion as to what on earth Ivanka Trump, former reality TV personality and socialite, would need classified information clearance and a West Wing office for. Especially considering she doesn’t even have an official White House role.
The president soon saw to that, this week appointing his daughter (whose work experience includes featuring in Born Rich, Project Runway and Gossip Girl amongst other projects) a key role in his administration and a job that most politicians would only dream about, Assistant to the President. Yes, really.
‘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,’ announced the White House in a statement on Wednesday. ‘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.’
Although this is a questionable move, it certainly isn’t an unexpected one, with Ivanka appearing at her father’s side at public events and meetings since his inauguration in January. She even played an active part in the President’s meetings with visiting world leaders, everyone from Justin Trudeau and Shinzo Abe to more recently, Angela Merkel.
Trump has a habit of hiring those closest to him. He went against tradition two months ago after hiring Ivanka’s husband, real estate investor Jared Kushner, as his senior advisor, one of the top positions in his administration, and something that prompted the public to call out as nepotism. Appointing his daughter as his assistant, however, has got an even stronger reaction.
In response to the growing ethics concerns of her advising her father, Ivanka said in a statement:
‘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. 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.’