Ivanka Trump introduces her father at the Republican National Convention
President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, are looking for homes in Washington, D.C., CNN has reported. Their move to the nation’s capital likely signals they intend to be involved in the future administration ripe with potential conflicts of interest, given their business holdings.
Both have been intimately involved in Trump’s transition thus far. Kushner served as one of the president-elect’s most trusted advisers during the campaign and has been credited with the strategy that allowed Trump’s surprise win. Reports have suggested Trump is searching for a way to make him officially a part of the presidential staff, but it’s unclear if having his son-in-law serve in the White House violates nepotism laws.
Kushner clearly holds sway over his father-in-law’s decision making. He reportedly engineered the ouster of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie from Trump’s transition team. When he was a U.S. attorney, Christie sent Kushner’s father, Charles, to jail for tax evasion and tampering with a witness.
Kushner was there to accompany his father-in-law to the White House when Trump met with President Barack Obama following the election. Kushner met with current White House chief of staff Denis McDonough.
Trump’s chief of staff is Reince Preibus, formerly chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Ivanka Trump, who was one of her father’s most effective surrogates during the campaign, has sat in on several of his transition meetings, including his first in-person meeting with a foreign leader. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Trump in New York last month, but no news media were allowed to attend, nor was a readout of the discussion provided by the Trump team.
According to a New York Times report, the meeting took place as Ivanka Trump’s business is nearing a deal with Japanese apparel company Sanei International. The largest shareholder of Sanei’s parent company is the Japanese government-owned Development Bank of Japan.
This is just one potential conflict of interest between members of the Trump family and running the U.S. government. Amid calls for Trump to step away from his businesses before he becomes president, he announced on Twitter he would turn over his businesses to his adult children while he ran the country. He said he would provide details about how “leaving my great business in total” would work at a news conference with them on Dec. 15. A source close to the transition team said a structure designed “to avoid even the appearance of any conflict of interest” is being vetted and will be announced next week.
Ivanka Trump, along with her brothers Donald Jr. and Eric, all serve on their father’s transition team.
“Ivanka has no intention of taking a formal role in the administration,” the source said.
On Twitter, Trump denied reports he was seeking security clearance for his adult children. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway defended the role the children have played thus far in the presidential transition.
“They’re going to support their father as president of the United States the way they’ve always supported his presidential candidacy, and they’ll continue to be supportive at the same time,” Conway told NPR. “They’ll continue to be wildly successful in the business world.”
CNN reports Ivanka Trump and Kushner plan to bring their three children from New York to D.C. Future first lady Melania Trump and Trump’s youngest son, Barron, will stay in New York at least until the end of the school year. Trump himself has reportedly inquired about how much time he must spend at the White House.