With Ivanka, the du­ties of first daugh­ter may change

Af­ter role in cam­paign, next moves closely watched

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

With Ivanka Trump, the typ­i­cally mi­nor role of first daugh­ter could get a ma­jor makeover. Af­ter she played a key role on the cam­paign trail, the next moves by Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s 35-year-old daugh­ter are be­ing closely watched. She’s been at­tend­ing her fa­ther’s tran­si­tion meet­ings with high-pro­file fig­ures from the Ja­panese prime min­is­ter to tech­nol­ogy lead­ers and has in­di­cated her in­ter­est in work­ing on pol­icy is­sues like child care.

An ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent at the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Ivanka Trump also owns her own com­pany sell­ing clothes and jew­elry. While three of the pres­i­den­t­elect’s adult chil­dren are viewed as close ad­vis­ers, he of­ten high­lights Ivanka and has made clear that he’d love to have her with him when he moves into the White House. Whether that would be in a for­mal or in­for­mal po­si­tion is not clear. But Trump ad­viser Kellyanne Con­way sug­gested this week that there may be an ex­cep­tion to anti-nepo­tism laws for Ivanka Trump and her hus­band, Jared Kush­ner, who runs a real es­tate and con­struc­tion busi­ness.

Pre­vi­ous first daugh­ters have played a so­cial role in the White House. For ex­am­ple, dur­ing Harry Tru­man’s pres­i­dency, when Bess Tru­man was home in Mis­souri, her daugh­ter, Mar­garet, would play host­ess. But it would be “un­prece­dented” for Ivanka Trump to serve as a close ad­viser, said Kather­ine Jel­li­son, who chairs the his­tory depart­ment at Ohio Univer­sity. She added: “If there was ever a first daugh­ter who played such a close ad­vi­sory role to her dad, she re­ally kept it un­der cover.” Here’s what we know so far about Ivanka Trump:

The busi­ness

With the Trump fam­ily, every­thing comes back to the vast fam­ily busi­ness em­pire. Ivanka, one of Don­ald Trump’s three chil­dren with his first wife, Ivana Trump, is an ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the busi­ness along with her two broth­ers, Don­ald Jr., 38, and Eric, 32. Just how the pres­i­dent-elect will han­dle his sprawl­ing busi­ness in­ter­ests re­mains un­clear. Trump has said he will turn man­age­ment over to his sons and ex­ec­u­tives.

Of course, Ivanka has her own busi­ness to con­sider as well. She recently drew crit­i­cism af­ter her com­pany pro­moted a $10,800 bracelet she wore dur­ing a “60 Min­utes” in­ter­view on CBS. The spokes­woman for the com­pany later apol­o­gized. Since then, Ivanka has sought to put some dis­tance be­tween her­self and her fash­ion busi­ness. A let­ter posted on her web­site said that she would separate her so­cial me­dia ac­counts from her com­pany’s. But ques­tions con­tinue to come up. Ear­lier this month, Eric Trump of­fered a “Pri­vate Cof­fee with Ivanka Trump in NYC” on a char­ity fundrais­ing web­site. But af­ter draw­ing high bids - and a New York Times story - the auc­tion ap­peared to have been re­moved from the web­site Fri­day. The Trump or­ga­ni­za­tion did not re­spond to a re­quest for more de­tails.

The White House

Trump’s team says no of­fi­cial de­ci­sion has been made about Ivanka Trump’s role, and she was not made avail­able for an in­ter­view for this story.

But the pres­i­dent-elect has made his wishes known. “I think we’ll have to see how the laws read. I would love to be able to have them in­volved,” Trump said on Fox News of Ivanka Trump and her hus­band.

Congress passed an anti-nepo­tism law in 1967 that pro­hibits the pres­i­dent from ap­point­ing a fam­ily mem­ber to work in an of­fice or agency the pres­i­dent over­sees. But Con­way said on MSNBC’s “Morn­ing Joe” that the law has “an ex­cep­tion if you want to work in the West Wing, be­cause the pres­i­dent is able to ap­point his own staff.” Still, Richard Pain­ter, chief White House ethics lawyer un­der Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W Bush, said: “I don’t be­lieve that this statue ex­empts the White House.” He said Con­way’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion would be rea­son­able pol­icy be­cause it would bring fam­ily mem­bers un­der con­flict of in­ter­est rules, but added “I’m just not con­vinced that’s what the statute says.”

Pol­icy plat­form

While much about Ivanka Trump’s fu­ture role is murky, her pol­icy in­ter­ests are quite clear. Through­out the cam­paign she high­lighted her in­ter­est in is­sues like child care, pay eq­uity and ma­ter­nity leave. Her fa­ther men­tioned those is­sues rarely. Ivanka Trump met with a group of Repub­li­can con­gress­women on these is­sues in Septem­ber. Since the elec­tion, she has been reach­ing out to mem­bers of Congress to con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion, ac­cord­ing to Sarah Cham­ber­lain, the pres­i­dent and CEO of Repub­li­can Main Street Part­ner­ship, who said she has not heard from the fu­ture first daugh­ter.

Repub­li­can consultant Katie Packer, who op­posed Trump, said she was wel­com­ing “the spot­light that Ivanka Trump is go­ing to put on these is­sues.” But Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Mom­sRis­ing, an ad­vo­cacy group for women and fam­i­lies, said she was con­cerned that the pres­i­dent-elect’s con­ser­va­tive Cabi­net picks don’t share those in­ter­ests. “Ivanka Trump is right that child care and paid fam­ily leave are na­tional emer­gen­cies, but she was not elected to be pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica and her dad, who was, has taken the op­po­site ap­proach,” Rowe-Finkbeiner said.

White House host­ess

Through­out the cam­paign, Ivanka Trump played a more prom­i­nent role than Trump’s third wife, Me­la­nia, who has fo­cused her at­ten­tion on 10-year-old son Bar­ron. Don­ald Trump said last month that Me­la­nia and Bar­ron Trump would not move to the White House un­til the end of the school year. She could still come in for ma­jor events, but there is his­tor­i­cal prece­dent for a daugh­ter or sis­ter to step in and shoul­der some of the so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Since the elec­tion, Me­la­nia Trump has kept a low pro­file while Ivanka Trump has been a reg­u­lar fix­ture at Trump Tower in New York. This week she ap­peared in a photo with Kanye West.

— AP

MANCH­ESTER, New Hamp­shire: In this Nov 7, 2016 file photo, Ivanka Trump speaks be­side her fa­ther, thenRepub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump, left, and vice pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, In­di­ana Gov Mike Pence dur­ing a cam­paign rally.

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