Trump names son-in-law Jared Kushner Senior Advisor to the President
In a move we all saw coming, despite the myriad conflicts of interest, President-elect Trump tapped son-in-law Jared Kushner for the plum White House position of Senior Advisor to the President. NBC News’ Peter Alexander reported the appointment on Monday afternoon, citing a “senior transition official” as his source.
“Mr. Kushner is committed to complying with federal ethics laws,” Kushner’s attorney told NBC News, “and we have been consulting with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the steps he would take.”
According to CNN, PEOTUS is expected to explain how he plans to rectify his various conflicts of interests, most likely including the appointment of his son-in-law, during a press conference scheduled for Wednesday. He also expected to announce that his daughter, and Kusher’s wife, Ivanka, will recuse herself from running the family business, the Trump Organization.
BREAKING: Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will be named Senior Advisor to the President, per senior transition official. @NBCNews
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) January 9, 2017
It looks like the Office of Government Ethics is going to have to do some extreme logistical gymnastics to justify this appointment. Although Kushner’s legal team has been working hard to sidestep the 1967 anti-nepotism statue congress passed, partially in reaction to JFK appointing his brother Bobby Kennedy to the attorney general post, his business dealings still present an ethical road block. Kushner’s real estate company was also seeking to close a deal with a Chinese financial firm while he was advising the president-elect.
The chief executive of a real estate empire that owns property around the globe, Kushner undoubtedly needs to brush up on his ethical governing. Kushner has conferred with foreign leaders during the transition, reportedly representing his Kushner Companies. Kushner had dinner with Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of a powerful Chinese company, Anban — which has close ties to the government of the People’s Republic of China — to discuss the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue, one of the Kushner Companies’ flagship properties. The New York Times reported that these discussions started around the time Trump won the Republican nomination.
Unlike appointments like secretary of state or secretary of defense, the Senate doesn’t have confirmation power over the role of “Senior Advisor to the President.”