Ivanka Trump to receive West Wing office and access to classified information

Peter Walker
Angela Merkel and Ivanka Trump in the Cabinet Room last week: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

Ivanka Trump is reported to have been given a prominent role in the White House, despite not technically serving as a government employee.

Donald Trump’s daughter has set up an office in the West Wing, will be given government communication devices and be handed classified security clearance, according to her attorney.

The 35-year-old will also voluntarily comply with ethics rules even though she has no official position, will not be paid a salary, and will not be sworn in.

The latest developments follow Ms Trump, often hailed as the de facto First Lady of the property billionaire’s campaign, insisting she will play no formal role in her father’s administration.

The attorney Jamie Gorelick told Politico on Monday that Ms Trump will serve as the President’s “eyes and ears”.

“Having an adult child of the President who is actively engaged in the work of the administration is new ground,” admitted Ms Gorelick.

“Our view is that the conservative approach is for Ivanka to voluntarily comply with the rules that would apply if she were a government employee, even though she is not.”

Ms Gorelick, who also represents Ms Trump’s husband and senior White House advisor Jared Kushner, said there were still conflicts of interest surrounding her eponymous jewellery label that are being worked upon.

Ms Trump, who stepped down from the brand as its head, sat next to Angela Merkel during the German chancellor’s first official White House visit last week.

Ms Trump’s office will reportedly sit next door to senior adviser Dina Powell, who was recently promoted to a National Security Council position.

People close to Ms Trump, according to Politico, say she sees nothing unusual about the arrangement.

But Norm Eisen, a former ethics chief in the Barack Obama administration, said: “They’re not saying she’s going to voluntarily subject herself to ethics rules to be nice.

“There’s recognition that they're in very uncertain territory here.”

Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who served as George W Bush's chief White House lawyer on ethics, said Ms Trump is effectively working as a White House employee.

A spokeswoman for Ms Trump told Politico her role was signed off on by the White House counsel’s office and that the conflict issues were “worked through” with the office of government ethics.

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