Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, joined Chinese President Xi Jinping for dinner Mar-a-Lago and on that very same day, according to the AP, Ivanka’s company was given approval by the Chinese government for three new trademarks.
This serves to highlight how the First Daughter’s attempts explain her role in the White House while to separating that role from her business interests. She became an official federal employee in March and said she would comply with all ethics standards and keep her company separate from her part in the administration. She moved her company’s assets into a family-run trust and vowed to
“recuse herself from issues that present conflicts.“
Her attorney, Jamie Gorelick, told the AP,
“Ivanka will not weigh in on business strategy, marketing issues, or the commercial terms of agreements. She has retained authority to direct the trustees to terminate agreements that she determines create a conflict of interest or the appearance of one.“
Despite boycott campaigns and retailers’ choosing to discontinue stocking Ivanka Trump merchandise, U.S. imports—primarily from China—grew 166 percent in 2016 and the brand has already hit record highs in 2017. Though it’s not illegal for a government employee to “build a brand,” it IS NOT legal for Ivanka to take part in an activity that could benefit her, or her husband, financially.
With her company seeking trademarks in China —and with Ivanka herself serving as an adviser to her father on trade with China or the value of Chinese currency—what was already murky is becoming even more clouded.
Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, said,
“Put the business on hold and stop trying to get trademarks while you’re in government.“
Norman Eisen, the chief White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama, echoed this,
“Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it. For their own sake, and the country’s, Ivanka and Jared should consider stepping away from China matters.“
If you ask me, this will be all of the Trump’s undoing and it’s clear why they are involved in politics at all. Profit.
(Photo, Alex Brandon/AP; via Glamour)