A former spokesman for President Donald Trump’s campaign said Thursday that Ivanka Trump’s decision to join the White House staff is not nepotism because the President’s daughter will work for free.
President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter will be an “adviser” to the President and will file her own Form 278, which means she is legally bound by ethics rules. Critics, however, claim that Trump’s hiring violates federal nepotism laws.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Jason Miller on “New Day” Thursday: “The one thing I don’t understand is how is this not nepotism?”
“Well, I mean, how is it nepotism?” Miller, a Trump surrogate, replied.
“Because she’s the daughter of the President, that’s how it’s nepotism,” Camerota responded.
“She’s working for free. She’s volunteering her time and effort for the good of the country,” Miller said. “Everybody from the White House counsel to the (Department of Justice) has said that this doesn’t violate any sort of nepotism rules.”
Speaking during the same segment, former White House ethics czar Norman Eisen said that both the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations included the White House in its interpretation of the federal nepotism law, passed in 1967, that says no public official — from the President down to a low-level manager at a federal agency — may hire or promote a relative.
But the law states that any appointee found to have violated the law is “not entitled to pay” by the federal government, which appears to offer the opportunity for Trump and Jared Kushner, her husband, to forgo paychecks while still serving the administration. Kushner, a top Donald Trump aide, is also serving the White House as an unpaid government employee.
A source has told CNN that the decision to make Ivanka Trump officially an employee was made after there was great “unease” expressed by about the nature of her voluntary role.