Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, is to receive a West Wing office next to a National Security Council advisor. She'll receive a security clearance, allowing her to access classified information. And she'll be given government-issued communication devices.
However, Ivanka won't be on the White House payroll, will not be sworn into office, and will not be subject public scrutiny. In short, she will have no official position. The president's daughter promised in a statement to "voluntarily" follow the White House ethics code, according to Politico.
"People close to Ivanka Trump said that she sees nothing unusual about the arrangement," reports Politico, "it's simply how she has worked with her father for years, as a senior official at the Trump Organization and as Donald Trump's partner on 'The Apprentice.'"
Ivanka also raised eyebrows last week for taking part in an official meeting between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel:
Ivanka at meeting with German Chancellor. Why? pic.twitter.com/83z38oT5XJ
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) March 17, 2017
While her involvement in the White House deepens, Ivanka continues to run her multi-million dollar fashion brands—which have close ties to Trump's international empire. (In fact, her business was sued for profiting unfairly from her family's link to the presidency.) Trump has also not divested himself of his businesses.
The brazen flouting of ethics concerns has provoked critics to compare the Trump administration to a kleptocracy:
The Trump family behave like classic third world Kleptocrats. And they do so with a brazenness and openness few thought possible in the U.S. https://t.co/h4cTOCQWuK
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 20, 2017
Kleptocratic dynasty continues apace. There is no reason Ivanka Trump should get a security clearance allowing her access to govt data. https://t.co/YVjNjFBjAX
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) March 21, 2017
As former labor secretary Robert Reich wrote on Facebook:
Let me get this straight: Ivanka Trump—who has myriad business interests that overlap with her father's—is now moving into the West Wing as a top White House advisor, getting a security clearance and government-issued communications devices. But she's not being sworn in, will hold no official position, and so will not be a government employee who must by law adhere to official ethics rules.
Doesn't the Trump administration have enough ethics problems? Aren't there already enough conflicts of interest to sink a ship?
"It's as if a coup has occurred, and the dictator's family has now moved into the palace—and are about to the loot the country," Reich added. "The utter disdain of the Trumps for ethics is jaw-dropping."