As Donald Trump prepares to disentangle himself from his sprawling business interests he’ll have at least two key allies by his side in Washington: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
The couple has secured a property in the tony Kalorama neighborhood, and Trump’s team is confident that, at a minimum, his daughter and son-in-law can act as informal advisers once he’s in the White House. That solution is unlikely to please ethics experts who have even taken to The New York Times opinion page to encourage Trump to ask Congress to amend the anti-nepotism statute in order to give limited family members formal roles.
The transition team hasn’t ruled out formal titles for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump either. Discussions are still ongoing about whether it’s possible to give the couple official titles in a way that would be appropriate and permissible under ethics and nepotism rules.
Ivanka Trump has made clear that if she’s advising her father in Washington, she will step back from her personal business.
“As Ivanka has previously stated, she would separate herself from her businesses if asked to become an advisor to her father and the Trump administration,” said a spokeswoman for the Ivanka Trump brand.
It’s not clear how Jared Kushner will navigate his own real estate business, though, and the Trump transition team declined to provide any details.
Trump is expected to shed some light on the new management structure for his private business — and the roles of his children — at a news conference on January 11, Trump tweeted Tuesday.
The President-elect has vowed via Twitter that his company won’t execute any new deals while he’s in office — a step to guard against conflict of interest concerns. But sources said it’s unlikely that Trump will go even further and fully divest from his company.
One option that has been under consideration is bringing in an outside trustee to help guard against conflicts of interest, in addition to a leadership team that includes existing Trump organization executives and Trump’s two sons.
For Trump, the commitment to his enterprise goes beyond financial ties and includes a sentimental component as well.
“President-elect Trump has always stated how much he loves what he does. Anyone who spends more than four decades building a 10 billion dollar empire would clearly be sentimental about relinquishing control,” said Michael Cohen, an executive vice president for the Trump Organization. “However, President-elect Trump has also stated that there is nothing more important to him than fixing the mistakes made by the previous administration and Making America Great Again!”
CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.