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What Does Ivanka Trump Do For The White House? Her ‘Unprecedented’ Role



The news made its way out in press releases at the end of March 2017: Ivanka Trump had finally figured out what exactly she’d be doing in the White House. Officials noted that she’d already been in an “unprecedented role,” different than previous presidential children (of course).

Here’s a thorough roundup of her background and the secrets of her new role working for the most powerful man in the world (and dad).


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Time For A Title, But No Paycheck

In what journalists have described as “a move intended to quell ethics concerns,” Ivanka’s new role in her father’s administration does not come with a salary. She’s become a special advisor to the president. In the words of Trump’s administration, they want to demonstrate their “commitment to ethics, transparency, and compliance.”


It Sounds Like She’ll Be Working On A Lot

Ivanka already had an office in the West Wing, of course, and so did her husband, senior advisor Jared Kushner. A White House spokesperson said that she’ll now have “increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously.”


International Travel And Global Commentary

In May, Ivanka joined her father for trips to Saudia Arabia, Israel, and Italy. She attended discussions about economic and humanitarian issues and gave statements about her positions on foreign policy and international relations.

“I think there is a global humanitarian crisis that’s happening, and we have to come together and we have to solve it,” Ivanka said to NBC about the refugee crisis in Syria.

But does this put her at odds with her father?


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Speaking Differently Than Dad

Interestingly, when she was asked if America should open its borders to Syrian refugees, Ivanka vocally disagreed with her father’s views and policies. She hadn’t spoken with such clarity until then.

“That has to be part of the discussion,” she said, “but that’s not going to be enough in and of itself.”


Possibly A Strategic Appointment

Does that point towards an underlying strategy behind her new appointment? She did tend to maintain a sort of neutral stance throughout her father’s entire campaign.

According to the New York Times, she also plans to review some of her father’s executive orders before they are signed; she has also initiated weekly meetings with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Knowing Trump, the next slide kind of surprised us.


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Embracing The Press, Opposite Her Father

While everyone knows that President Trump simply won’t stand for the “biased” and “lying” news media of today, Ivanka chooses to embrace many of the publications that he’s railed against. She frequently retweets and shares stories and comments from the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Associated Press.


A Proactive Voice Inside The White House

Ivanka says that she is “still at the early stages of learning how everything works,” and, just like dad, she has no political background.

“I know enough now to be a much more proactive voice inside the White House,” she said. “I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the President in my personal capacity.”

So how are Trump’s extended family responding to those concerns?


Let’s Get Into Nepotism, Too

The 1967 nepotism law forbids all public officials from hiring or promoting a relative. There’s a loophole, though. No appointee is entitled to pay from the federal government, and that’s exactly what gave Trump and Kushner the opportunities they’ve walked into.

They’re simply skipping out on paychecks and working in voluntary roles. Does that make it better?


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Unique Power As The First Daughter

Nope! Norm Eisen, an ethics advocate, told reporters that Ivanka’s appointment demonstrated “a lot of nepotism.”

Doug Wead, who served as a special assistant to President George Bush, said that “the power of a child of a president is very unique.” He described it as “a power that Bannon doesn’t have, that Reince Priebus doesn’t have.”


Her Father’s Eyes And Ears

Ivanka has always had a presence alongside her father. She’s been one of his most trusted advisors since she was a young adult, and she worked as the executive vice president of real estate development and acquisition for the Trump Organization.

Donald’s attorney, Jamie S. Gorelick, said that she will be serving as his “eyes and ears.”


A Source Of Input And Insight

“She will not be his only source of input and insight, obviously, but she may be able to provide insights into the concerns of people whom he might not meet as President,” Gorelick wrote in an email to CNN.

The closest parallel to Ivanka? President George W. Bush, who worked on his father’s campaign.


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She’s Someone Who Can’t Be Fired

“But even he wasn’t sitting in on high-level policy meetings when his father was in the White House,” said Kate Andersen Brower, an author and CNN contributor. “It definitely complicates matters when someone who can’t be fired is this involved in an administration.”
(“Someone who can’t be fired” translates to “a family member.”)
What’s more, Ivanka is already making some bold moves.


Here’s One Of Her First Risky Moves

In late May, Ivanka made one of her first risky political moves. Her parental leave plan was presented to a conservative House majority—politicians who don’t typically tend to favor new government mandates.

Ivanka proposed a $25 billion federal paid leave program. Unlike other developed countries, the United States doesn’t have a program for paid parental leave.

How’s progress so far?


And Here’s How It’s Playing Out

The devil is in the details, of course, and this paid leave program leaves many questions unanswered. It doesn’t provide for adoptive parents or fathers, so it could lead to discrimination in the hiring process; if employers are required to provide paid leave for only women, then women are inherently going to cost more money than other employees.

We’ve got to wait and see how this one plays out.


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Statements, Tweets, And Other Plans

Let’s take a look at the spread of miscellaneous stuff that Ivanka has put on the record. After all, these little tidbits all factor into a bigger picture.

“Human trafficking is a pervasive humanitarian epidemic both domestically and abroad,” Ivanka tweeted on May 17 alongside this photo. “Together we are working to combat this critical issue.”


Heavy Tweeting About Women’s Rights

“Motherhood is now a greater determinant of pay inequality than gender,” she tweeted on May 14. (She’s pictured here as a kid with her mother Ivana.) The next day, she wrote that “250 million fewer women than men are online globally. Bridging the digital gender gap is key to #WomensEconomicEmpowerment.”

Let’s keep in mind that this woman’s father made the infamous comments about “grabbing” women.


She’s Still Proud To Be A Trump

“No matter what I hear about my parents, about my family, no matter what I read, the fact is that I’m absolutely proud to be a Trump,” she said in the 2003 documentary Born Rich. “For a while, I was worried that for my whole life I’d sort of be under my parents’ shadow, but it’s not a bad shadow to be under.”


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More Opposition, This Time About Climate Change

President Trump recently decided to pull the United States out of the worldwide Paris Agreement, part of a global effort fighting climate change.

Us Weekly reported that Ivanka was disappointed by his decision and that she had previously tried to sway him. Millions of people around the world certainly don’t find mere disappointment to be enough, though.


She’s Just Published Her Newest Book

“Where I disagree with my father, he knows it—and I express myself with total candor,” she said in an April interview with Gayle King. Ivanka also just released her latest book titled Women Who Work.

You win some and you lose some: A New York Times review called the book “a strawberry milkshake of inspirational quotes.”


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What’s Next For Ivanka And The Trump White House


“I do believe that in time I’ll get to the right place; in the short run, I’ll have missteps,” she has said. “I’m really, really trying to learn.”

Political roles with international influence don’t typically make much room for learning on the job. Ivanka Trump has the president’s ear and the world’s attention, and only time will tell what’s going to happen next.

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