Ivanka Trump is taking on a more formal White House role — with a title but not a paycheck — a move intended to quell ethics concerns raised about her status in her father’s administration.
In a statement, the White House noted that the president’s elder daughter already had an “unprecedented role” in the administration different from that of previous presidential children.
She now will take the title of special advisor to the president, and therefore assume the same responsibility to abide by ethics standards that other federal employees have, the statement said. The decision demonstrates the administration’s “commitment to ethics, transparency and compliance,” the administration said.
Although Ivanka Trump already had a West Wing office — as does her husband, senior advisor Jared Kushner — she now will have “increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously,” a White House spokesman said.
The announcement came on a day when President Trump sought to promote his administration’s commitment to empowering women. He delivered remarks at an East Room event that included other top women in his Cabinet, including U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon.
Ivanka Trump held a roundtable with female business owners earlier, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
Earlier Wednesday, leading Senate Democrats sent a letter to the Office of Government Ethics raising concerns about the “increasing, albeit unspecified” position Ivanka Trump had held and the potential conflicts of interest that her government position might trigger with her personal businesses, including a retail clothing brand.
The letter from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) asked the agency whether Trump would be required to divest herself of personal assets or if she could be required to recuse herself from certain functions.
Trump’s new position was first reported by the New York Times. In a statement to the paper, Trump said she was acting in response to ethics concerns, but noted she already had been voluntarily complying with “all ethics rules.”