Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Named White House Senior Advisor
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, takes the West Wing job despite an anti-nepotism law that bars officials from appointing relatives to government positions.
President-elect Donald Trump's influential son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is joining the White House as a senior adviser, Trump confirmed Monday afternoon. He's taking a broad role that could give him sway over both domestic and foreign policy.
“Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted advisor throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration,” said Trump in a statement. “He has been incredibly successful, in both business and now politics. He will be an invaluable member of my team as I set and execute an ambitious agenda, putting the American people first.”
In his role, Kushner will work closely with Trump's pick for chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and chief strategist, Stephen Bannon.
“It is an honor to serve our country,” said Kushner in the statement released by Trump's transition team. “I am energized by the shared passion of the President-elect and the American people and I am humbled by the opportunity to join this very talented team.”
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is taking the West Wing job despite an anti-nepotism law that bars officials from appointing relatives to government positions. Some aides to Trump have argued that the law does not apply to the White House.
The news was first reported by the Associated Press early Monday, stating that the official announcement would come later this week.
Kushner's lawyer has said he would step down as CEO of his family's real estate business if he took a White House position and would divest some of his assets in order to comply with federal ethics laws that apply to government employees. The law requires Kushner to take more significant steps to detangle his business interests than Trump, given that conflict of interest laws largely do not apply to the president.
"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," Jamie Gorelick, a partner at the law firm of WilmerHale, said in a statement Saturday, before Kushner's role was finalized.
Kushner, 35, emerged as one of Trump's most powerful campaign advisers during his father-in-law's often unorthodox presidential bid. He was deeply involved in the campaign's digital efforts and was usually at Trump's side during the election's closing weeks.
Since then, Kushner has continued to play a central role in the transition, taking part in Cabinet interviews and often getting a last word alone with Trump after a meeting concludes. Trump has invited him to listen to phone calls on another line, with his presence sometimes not announced to the caller. And Trump has been known to call him late at night to review the day.
Like his father-in-law, Kushner pushed a mid-sized real estate company into the high-stakes battlefield of Manhattan. Though he often is viewed as more moderate than Trump, people close to him say he fully bought in to the Trump campaign's fiery populist message that resonated with white working-class voters. He never publicly distanced himself from Trump's more provocative stances, including the candidate's call for a Muslim-immigration ban and his doubts about President Barack Obama's birthplace.
Prior to the campaign, Kushner and Ivanka Trump were not overtly political. Kushner's father was a Democratic fundraiser, while Ivanka, whose personal brand has a focus on young working mothers, counted Chelsea Clinton among her friends.
Jan. 9, 5:45 p.m. - Updated with official statement.