Ivanka Trump Angela Merkel White House


Ivanka Trump can be an adviser in her father’s White House, but two Democratic senators say she shouldn’t be allowed to reap the benefits to her namesake fashion and accessories brand at the same time.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Tom Carper (D., Del.) urged the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday to layout which ethics rules Trump will need to follow in the event that she takes an official position in the administration of her father, President Donald Trump.

The senators pointed to media reports saying Ivanka Trump will “soon” become a presidential adviser, despite her remaining business interests and earlier claims by the White House that she would not become a formal employee, and noted that she’s previously expressed her intention to follow any and all ethics rules.

“Ms. Trump has substantial interests at stake: for example, she has retained ownership of Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, a retail clothing brand,” the senators said in their letter. “Ms. Trump’s increasing, albeit unspecified, White House role, her potential conflicts of interest, and her commitment to voluntarily comply with relevant ethics and conflicts of interest laws have resulted in substantial confusion.”

That confusion includes whether the White House has sought or received any formal ethics guidance on Trump’s role, which government officials determined that she would take on seemingly formal government responsibilities without being an official employee, and what laws exactly apply to her current and planned White House position.

The senators asked the Office of Government Ethics to answer these questions by April 13, along with a determination of whether Trump’s role is lawful and what disclosures, financial and otherwise, will be required should she become a formal White House advisor.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/REX/Shutterstock (8556850n) Ivanka Trump, Betsy DeVos Education Secretary Betsy DeVos listens at right as Ivanka Trump speaks at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, during an event to celebrate Women's History Month Ivanka Trump, Washington, USA - 28 Mar 2017

Trump, speaking at a Women’s History Month event in Washington with new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is reportedly headed for a bigger and more formal role in her father’s White House creating a host of ethics concerns around her apparel business.  AP/REX/Shutterstock

In the letter, Warren and Carper cited the Constitution in saying any employee of the executive branch “including those with positions in the White House” are prohibited from “participating in matters that have a direct impact on their personal and their family members’ financial interests.”

Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, was recently named a senior adviser to Donald Trump, and also put in charge of the newly created Office of American Innovation, an agency aimed at improving “government operations” and job creation, according to the White House.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/REX/Shutterstock (8523095as) Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Ivanka Trump, senior adviser Jared Kushner and Vice President Mike Pence listen during a news conference with President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington Trump US Germany, Washington, USA - 17 Mar 2017

Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, recently became an official White House adviser and was out in charge of the newly created Office of American Innovation.  AP/REX/Shutterstock

A White House representative could not be reached for comment.

The Ivanka Trump brand is also at the center of another ongoing ethics issue stemming from television remarks by counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, in which she gave a “free commercial” from the White House urging viewers of Fox & Friends to purchase from the “wonderful line.”

While the OEG has since said disciplinary action against Conway is likely warranted, the White House has argued the comments were inadvertent and made in a “light, off-hand manner.”

 

For More Coverage of the Trump Administration, See:

Ivanka Trump’s Brand Target of Class Action by San Francisco Retailer

Trump Might Turn to Trade As the Next Big Issue

Donald Trump (the Brand) Going to China

President Donald Trump Will Skip White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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