Trump’s son-in-law to be named senior adviser
posted at 5:01 pm on January 9, 2017 by John Sexton
Jared Kushner, the husband of Ivanka Trump, will be named a senior White House adviser. Kellyanne Conway called it the best news of the day:
Best News of the Day. Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner to Be Named Senior White House Adviser https://t.co/GGmpeUq2oA
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 9, 2017
Kushner, like his father-in-law, is a real estate developer who is taking steps to separate himself from his company. His lawyer gave a statement to NBC News:
“Mr. Kushner is committed to complying with federal ethics laws and we have been consulting with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the steps he would take,” Kushner’s lawyer said in a statement.
Kushner will resign from his company, divest “substantial assets,” and recuse himself from matters that would impact his financial interests, Gorelick said.
However the bigger problem with appointing Kushner may be an anti-nepotism law put in place in 1967. That law specifically mentions son-in-laws; however, there is disagreement over whether the law would prevent an appointment within the White House itself. From an earlier NBC story:
This law would prevent Trump from giving Kushner a job in a Cabinet department. But would it apply to a job as a White House adviser? Probably not, though that is not crystal clear.
In 1993, a federal appeals court looked at the issue as part of a lawsuit over Hillary Clinton’s role in the health care task force. The court didn’t decide the question but strongly suggested that the White House staff is not a federal agency.
It appears that in order to steer clear of the anti-nepotism rule, Kushner’s job will be a non-paid position. This was confirmed by the transition team Monday afternoon:
Update: transition official says Kushner will NOT be paid in WH https://t.co/7omIGefKc9
— Rebecca Berg (@rebeccagberg) January 9, 2017
Kushner has been credited with helping Trump win the election by pulling together his data operation and managing his online presence. From a Forbes piece published last month:
Kushner’s crew was able to tap into the Republican National Committee’s data machine, and it hired targeting partners like Cambridge Analytica to map voter universes and identify which parts of the Trump platform mattered most: trade, immigration or change. Tools like Deep Root drove the scaled-back TV ad spending by identifying shows popular with specific voter blocks in specific regions–say, NCIS for anti-ObamaCare voters or The Walking Dead for people worried about immigration. Kushner built a custom geo-location tool that plotted the location density of about 20 voter types over a live Google Maps interface.
Soon the data operation dictated every campaign decision: travel, fundraising, advertising, rally locations–even the topics of the speeches. “He put all the different pieces together,” Parscale says. “And what’s funny is the outside world was so obsessed about this little piece or that, they didn’t pick up that it was all being orchestrated so well.”…
As the election barreled toward its finale, Kushner’s system, with its high margins and up-to-the-minute voter data, provided both ample cash and the insight on where to spend it. When the campaign registered the fact that momentum in Michigan and Pennsylvania was turning Trump’s way, Kushner unleashed tailored TV ads, last-minute rallies and thousands of volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls.
Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who supported Trump, told Forbes it was hard to overestimate Kushner’s role in the campaign. “If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer,” Thiel said.