Donald ump appoints his son-in-law as senior advisor

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International Desk, : US President-elect Donald Trump today appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner as his senior advisor that would make him one of the most powerful individuals in the incoming White House team, a move that could be challenged under the 50-year-old anti-nepotism law.
During the grilling presidential election campaign, Trump had publicly acknowledged the important role being played by 35-year-old Kushner, the husband of his daughter Ivanka Trump.

“Kushner 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,” Trump said 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,” said the President-elect.

A widely respected businessman and real estate developer, Kushner was instrumental in formulating and executing the strategy behind Trump’s historic victory in November.

“Kushner has chosen to forego his salary while serving in the administration,” the Presidential Transition Team said in a statement.

The incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that Kushner is “a visionary with a rare ability” to communicate with and assemble broad coalitions of support.

“His entrepreneurial mindset will be a great asset to the team as well as his open mind, adaptability and keen intellect,” he said.

Trump’s transition team said there is no legal problem with having Jared Kushner serve in the White House because an anti-nepotism law enacted in 1967 does not apply to the president’s staff.

“It is an honour to serve our country. I am energised 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 said.

Kushner’s appointment would put him in position to exert broad sway over both domestic and foreign policy, particularly Middle East issues and trade negotiations.

The outgoing Obama Administration said it is for the President-elect to choose his team.

“I’ll let President-elect Trump select whomever he would like to have around him. Obviously that’s what he will do.

What I can tell you is that President Obama and all of those of us who served on his senior staff here in the White House went to great lengths to comply with the strict ethical requirements that the American people expect of people who are entrusted with so much authority,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Following Kushner’s appointment, the House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, and House Judiciary Subcommittee Ranking Members Jerrold Nadler along with several other Democratic lawmakers called on the Department of Justice and the Office of Government Ethics to review concerns of nepotism and conflicts of interest arising from this.

“To begin with, Mr Kushner s appointment may run afoul of…the Federal anti-nepotism statute,” the lawmakers said in a letter to the US Office of Government Ethics.

Under that statute, a “public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving” a relative.

The statute defines the term “public official” to include the President and defines the term “relative” to include a “son-in-law”, they said.

The Democratic lawmakers alleged that Kushner s White House position may allow him to influence policy that benefits his business interests.

“In addition, should Mr Kushner choose not to be compensated for his role as a White House “senior adviser” in an attempt to circumvent both the anti-nepotism statute and the general prohibition on Executive Branch officials seeking to use their offices to enrich themselves, his appointment may violate the Anti-Deficiency Act,” the letter said.

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