It looks like Ivanka Trump has a new desk in Washington D.C. Except, this new work space of hers is neither in her new home, nor is it a byproduct her namesake company opening a branch in the nation’s capital. It is, instead, a result of her gaining her own office in the White House. Ivanka won’t be working as an official government employee, but she will be acting in an unofficial capacity as an adviser to the president. Which means, in addition to her own working space, she will gain security clearance for classified information. Though she will not be sworn in or get a government salary, she will resemble a full-time staffer in the White House in other ways. According to Politico:
“The powerful first daughter has secured her own office on the West Wing’s second floor — a space next to senior adviser Dina Powell, who was recently promoted to a position on the National Security Council. She is also in the process of obtaining a security clearance, and is set to receive government-issued communications devices this week.”
Ivanka recently made the move to Washington D.C., following the election of Donald Trump as president and the subsequent appointment of her husband Jared Kushner as a top White House adviser. In the time since the family’s move, Ivanka has taken steps to try and distance herself from her namesake brand and company while declaring that she doesn’t intend to take on an official role in the Trump administration. Still, she’s drawn the attention of government ethics watchdogs after she notably sat in and participated in meetings with the leaders of countries like Japan, Canada and Germany.
Her lawyer told the Associated Press that she will abide by ethics rules pertaining to government employees even though she won’t have an official title. “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,” Jamie Gorelick, Ivanka’s attorney and ethics adviser, told the AP. “The White House Counsel’s Office agrees with that approach.”
Via a statement, Ivanka conceded that, “there is no modern precedent for an adult child of the president,” but that she will voluntarily follow ethics rules for staffers. That hasn’t quelled ethics concerns for everyone, though. Norm Eisen, the former ethics czar under Obama, told Politico that the better thing to do would be to simply make Ivanka an official government employee. “It would create some outside accountability, because if she can voluntarily subject herself to the rules, she can voluntarily un-subject herself to the rules,” he said. (NYMAG)