First daughter Ivanka Trump gets West Wing office

Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Ivanka Trump is working out of a West Wing office and will get access to classified information, though she is not technically serving as a government employee, according to an attorney for the first daughter. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON —

Cementing her role as a powerful White House influence, Ivanka Trump is working out of a West Wing office and will get access to classified information, though she is not technically serving as a government employee, according to an attorney for the first daughter.

Since President Donald Trump took office, his eldest daughter has been a visible presence in the White House, where her husband, Jared Kushner, already serves as a senior adviser. On Friday, she participated in a meeting on vocational training with the president and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Jamie Gorelick, an attorney and ethics adviser for Ivanka Trump, said Monday that the first daughter will not have an official title, but will get a West Wing office, government-issued communications devices and security clearance to access classified information. Gorelick said Ivanka Trump would follow the ethics rules that apply to government employees.

“Our view is that the conservative approach is for Ivanka to voluntarily comply with the rules that would apply if she were a government employee, even though she is not,” said Gorelick, who also helped Kushner with the legal strategy that led to his White House appointment. “The White House Counsel’s Office agrees with that approach.”

Ivanka Trump’s role has already come under scrutiny because there is little precedent for a member of the first family with this kind of influence. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A person with knowledge of Ivanka Trump’s thinking, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations, said she believes she can offer more independent perspective to her father by not serving as a White House staffer.

A popular surrogate for her father on the campaign trail, Ivanka Trump moved her young family to Washington at the start of the administration and signaled plans to work on economic issues, like maternity leave and child care. In a statement, she said: “I will continue to offer my father my candid advice and counsel, as I have for my entire life.”

Federal anti-nepotism laws prevent relatives from being appointed to government positions. But the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel recently said the president’s “special hiring authority” allowed him to appoint Kushner to the West Wing staff. Gorelick noted the office also made clear that the president could consult family members as private citizens, arguing that this is what Ivanka Trump will be doing.

The first daughter has sought to distance herself from the Trump Organization and her lifestyle brand, which offers shoes, clothing and jewelry. She has removed herself from executive roles and will have a more hands-off approach to the brand — though she will still get certain information and will have the power to veto new deals if they raise ethical red flags.

Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who served as President George W. Bush’s chief White House lawyer on ethics, said that Ivanka Trump is effectively working as a White House employee. He said that “means that she, like her husband, has to follow the rules. It’s not a huge deal if she stays out of things that affect her financial interests.”

Painter said that means Trump should avoid anything to do with foreign trade with countries where her products are made, as well as recuse herself from real estate matters, given Kushner’s family real estate business.

Trump says she will follow ethics rules and some of her financial information will be included in Kushner’s official disclosures. She would have to disclose additional financial information if she were in a senior White House role, said Painter. That could include more details about her lifestyle brand, including her contracts and income.

Attorney Andrew Herman, who has advised lawmakers on ethics issues, said he thought the administration should make her role official. He said: “I think the right way to do that is to make her a special government employee. But that implicates all kind of formal and disclosure issues.”

Ivanka Trump continues to own her brand. But she has handed daily management to the company president and has set up a trust to provide further oversight. The business cannot make deals with any foreign state, and the trustees will confer with Gorelick over any new agreements. Ivanka Trump will also be able to veto proposed new transactions.

Ivanka Trump has also barred the business from using her image to promote the products in advertising or marketing.

To be sure, the trustees are in the family — her husband’s siblings Joshua Kushner and Nicole Meyer. But Gorelick said the goal of the trust wasn’t to shield Trump from everything, but to remove her from the day-to-day operations. She also acknowledged that the arrangement did not eliminate conflicts, but she said Trump is trying to minimize them and will recuse herself from any administration decision-making that affects her business.

With the Trump Organization, Ivanka Trump has stepped down from a leadership role and will receive fixed payments rather than a share of the profits.

Ivanka Trump has also written a book, “Women Who Work,” that will be released in May. The proceeds and royalties will be donated to charity, Gorelick said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • -3

    toshiko

    Main purpose is she will calm down her father and change his attitude. She is not going to do her business. A bright news is Eric said his wife is pregnant.

  • 2

    Burning Bush

    Hilarious.

    Does she get a crown as well?

  • 6

    taj

    Ivanka Trump is working out of a West Wing office and will get access to classified information, though she is not technically serving as a government employee,...

    I repeat: "access to classified information"

  • -13

    Jalapeno

    She's got a good head on her shoulders. Glad she's there. Having access to classified info is no biggie.

  • 5

    SenseNotSoCommon

    Having access to classified info is no biggie.

    Yet briefings go right over Daddy's head.

  • -4

    toshiko

    The First Lady is in N. son''s school. White House need a ady to ensure parties have to be smooth. Lucky for him. He got Ivanka

  • 5

    GW

    Her & here husband, too close to out & out nepotism for me! SO MANY conflicts, family members of the President & First Lady need to remain family members

    I would say the same if Hillary had one as well

  • 5

    Laguna

    Having access to classified info is no biggie.

    Right, considering the numerous precedents Trump and his brood have already set.

  • 5

    zichi

    Family empire

  • 3

    TorafusuTorasan

    Her desk drawer, secured with a piece of ribbon, will be used for storing the hugely classified details about...

    international leaders' golf scores from Mar a Loco, for use in future blackmail schemes. That could be why Abe wouldn't report who was leading after his eighteen holes with Trump, and German PM Merkel refused to play at all.

  • 4

    Tokyo-Engr

    Looks really, really bad to me.

    This completely contradicts a major portion of his campaign platform. He ran as an outsider wanting to change things and drain the swamp. Now he is doing what he campaigned against. Full disclosure I did not vote for Clinton (nor did I vote for Trump) and one of the reasons was the level of discomfort with family connections and using the name for personal gain. I felt uncomfortable with 2 Bushes as well. I never really saw Trump as fit for office but now another reason to feel discomfort with him as President.

    I am not sure how anyone in their right mind could support this. Not only does it look bad but now more and more chances for corruption are big. Her husband is also an adviser there....it just gets stranger and stranger by the day.

    Bad deal

  • -6

    bass4funk

    Good on her. Wish her all the best. Kudos

    Right, considering the numerous precedents Trump and his brood have already set.

    He should.

  • 4

    Thunderbird2

    So she doesn't have a government job but she has a White House office paid for by American tax payers, comms devices paid for by tax payers and she will have access to classified information... and no-one on the Republican side sees anything wrong with this? If I was an American I'd be demanding someone look into this. How can that be right? if she doesn't have a government post then keep her away from anything even remotely sensitive.

  • -6

    bass4funk

    So she doesn't have a government job but she has a White House office paid for by American tax payers,

    Yes, she is after all, a Trump staffer and confidant.

    comms devices paid for by tax payers and she will have access to classified information... and no-one on the Republican side sees anything wrong with this?

    No, nothing wrong with it and there is nothing in the constitution that says Trump can't appoint anyone he wants.

    If I was an American I'd be demanding someone look into this. How can that be right? if she doesn't have a government post then keep her away from anything even remotely sensitive.

    Thank God, foreigners can't govern in the US, otherwise it really would be a complete catastrophe.

  • 2

    dmacleod

    No, nothing wrong with it and there is nothing in the constitution that says Trump can't appoint anyone he wants.

    The Constitution might not say anything about this, but there are plenty of anti-nepotism laws which do. Look up the 1967 and 1993 anti-nepotism laws just for starters.

  • 2

    zichi

    Thank God, foreigners can't govern in the US, otherwise it really would be a complete catastrophe.

    You mean like the First Lady, how much does she rule her husband.

  • -6

    bass4funk

    The Constitution might not say anything about this, but there are plenty of anti-nepotism laws which do. Look up the 1967 and 1993 anti-nepotism laws just for starters.

    I did and we are in 2017 things change. Journalists on TV before prime time are not supposed to give their personal opinion on anything other than just report on the news, but that's changed as well. A lot of things change and even if liberals object, it's ok. They can and Trump should just do as he wishes, unless someone wants to challenge him, but I am assuming they won't because they left knows, they have NO leg to stand on.

    You mean like the First Lady, how much does she rule her husband.

    What's wrong with that, my wife rules me! It just goes with the territory.

  • 2

    zichi

    What's wrong with that, my wife rules me! It just goes with the territory.

    You are one introducing the topic of foreigners. Melania was born in Slovenia so of dual nationality. Only the second foreign born First Lady.

  • 2

    dmacleod

    I did and we are in 2017 things change.

    Let us know when the laws change as well. Unless the past statutes have been changed, they are still in effect, and even the President must abide by them.

    . . . Trump should just do as he wishes . . .

    OK, so now he can be a dictator. That's just great. Perhaps you have forgotten about the whole "checks and balances" thing that was built into the Constitution?

    . . . unless someone wants to challenge him, but I am assuming they won't because they left knows, they have NO leg to stand on.

    He's already been challenged and has lost. The "leg" is called the law, and so far, Trump hasn't fared too well against the Judicial branch of our government.

  • -3

    bass4funk

    Let us know when the laws change as well. Unless the past statutes have been changed, they are still in effect, and even the President must abide by them.

    Oh, please. We used to not have hearings for Supreme Court justices, but things change, we used to not give aid to the enemy, sorry things change, if you don't like it, call your local congressman or go to Washington and protest, it's the liberal thing to do.

    OK, so now he can be a dictator.

    Hmmmm....the way the Dems are acting these days, I think they are more Dictator-lite with the way they want to force this president out of office and undermine the political system.

    That's just great. Perhaps you have forgotten about the whole "checks and balances" thing that was built into the Constitution?

    Now all of a sudden, the left cares about checks and balances....seriously? Dear lord.....

    He's already been challenged and has lost.

    Actually, No. Because if the left won, he wouldn't be in the WH, the GOP wouldn't have majorities throughout Washington, the House, the Senate, 33 governors the largest legislative branch. Sorry, if anyone has lost, it's the Dems. Heck, they still don't have a leader to guide them out of the darkness.

    The "leg" is called the law, and so far, Trump hasn't fared too well against the Judicial branch of our government.

    Wait until Gosurch is on the bench of the Supreme Court, let's see how things will turn out.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    Hmmmm....the way the Dems are acting these days, I think they are more Dictator-lite with the way they want to force this president out of office and undermine the political system.

    Um, dictators don't force leaders out of office, they are already leaders. And they don't undermine political systems, they destroy them to their own ends.

    So no, the Democrats are not dicator-lite.

  • 3

    dmacleod

    . . . if you don't like it, call your local congressman . . .

    Actually, those are perfectly good things to do, and many people do them all of the time.

    Now all of a sudden, the left cares about checks and balances....seriously? Dear lord.

    I am not "the Left." Any U.S. citizen who didn't sleep through civics class should care about checks and balances. Political affiliations have nothing to do with this.

    Actually, No. Because if the left won, he wouldn't be in the WH, the GOP wouldn't have majorities throughout Washington, the House, the Senate, 33 governors the largest legislative branch.

    Nice deflection. I was talking about Trump's losses in the Federal courts. The example you just stated has nothing to do with this. Try to stay on the topic.

    Sorry, if anyone has lost, it's the Dems.

    Right. So the Federal judges who slapped down Trump's travel bans would be examples of Trump winning, right?

    Wait until Gosurch is on the bench of the Supreme Court, let's see how things will turn out.

    What's that supposed to mean? Do you think that Gosurch will be a rubber stamp for whatever legislation Trump wants? If so, he shouldn't be on the bench. Also, let's remember that Chief Justice Roberts didn't always vote the way the right wanted, so be careful what you wish for.

  • -5

    bass4funk

    I am not "the Left."

    You're not a conservative either.

    Any U.S. citizen who didn't sleep through civics class should care about checks and balances. Political affiliations have nothing to do with this.

    Has nothing to do with civics classes, at least not these days seemingly, but the world has changed a lot.

    Nice deflection. I was talking about Trump's losses in the Federal courts.

    I know that, but as I said, let's just see where this all goes, it's not over yet.

    Right. So the Federal judges who slapped down Trump's travel bans would be examples of Trump winning, right?

    Let's see what happens once Gorsuch is appointed.

    What's that supposed to mean? Do you think that Gosurch will be a rubber stamp for whatever legislation Trump wants?

    Not at all, I think he will interpret the law accordingly and from the looks of it, the revised law seems to cover and left out all of the provisions that got it blocked in the first case. I'm not a lawyer never studied law, but every admin. has the top lawyers and in this case, they got blocked by a few looney lib judges, got it, overstepping their jurisdiction, but be that as it may, this is the world we are living in now, so I would think once all the presidents lawyers drag this to the supreme court, they just might find what Trump is doing is not unconstitutional, but we well see. It doesn't do us any good to litigate the ban here, let's see what happens.

    If so, he shouldn't be on the bench. Also, let's remember that Chief Justice Roberts didn't always vote the way the right wanted, so be careful what you wish for.

    For one, he will be confirmed and two, it goes both ways with this ruling.

    So no, the Democrats are not dicator-lite.

    Sorry, Dictator-heavy. Went through that and thank God we have that behind us.

  • 2

    dmacleod

    You're not a conservative either.

    You finally got something right. I'm not "Left" or a conservative. I consider myself to be an independent (like a lot of Americans). I will speak out against counter-factual claims, propaganda, and other misinformation that gets posted on this site, and a lot of it comes from the right-wing supporters here.

    Let's see what happens once Gorsuch is appointed.

    Fine with me. As long as he gets a fair hearing (something Garland never got), and he is properly vetted, there will no longer be this shameful vacancy that was created for purely political reasons.

    Sorry, Dictator-heavy. Went through that and thank God we have that behind us.

    Stop posting this nonsense right now. No, we did not go through this, but from the current looks of things, we might be facing that possibility with the current occupant in the Oval Office.

  • -1

    toshiko

    She could concentrate on her business but she sacrifices her business income to devote to her father and get criticized by their strangers.

  • -4

    bass4funk

    You finally got something right. I'm not "Left" or a conservative. I consider myself to be an independent (like a lot of Americans).

    Then we both has something in common, good to know.

    I will speak out against counter-factual claims, propaganda, and other misinformation that gets posted on this site, and a lot of it comes from the right-wing supporters here.

    As will I.

  • 0

    toshiko

    According to news clips She will receive communication devices. Did not say what kind of furniture she gets. Maybe a tabe to put her laptop and bookshelves? Did not say a desk. Newsman said her husband working is not nepotism. Secret or not files are not kept on papers but on flush drives just like any office.

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