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Ivanka Trump to become unpaid White House adviser

File photo of Ivanka Trump. Photograph: (Reuters)

AFP Washington, United States Mar 30, 2017, 12.05 AM (IST)

First daughter Ivanka Trump is about to take on another title as an unpaid adviser to her father President Donald Trump, the White House announced on Wednesday.

Ivanka, whose husband Jared Kushner also works as a senior aide to the president, will not receive a salary for her work as a federal employee. Kushner, a real estate developer, is also unpaid.

Both are the children of billionaire real estate tycoons, and neither of them have ever held a position in politics before becoming top White House advisers.

Trump once tried to squash early rumours, from after he won the election but before he took office in January 2017, that he was trying to get top-level security clearance for his children, calling it a "typically false news story".

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"We are pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter and in support of the president," a White House statement said.

"Ivanka's service as an unpaid employee furthers our commitment to ethics, transparency, and compliance and affords her increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously."

In the couple of months since her father became president Ivanka, 35, has been a regular presence at the White House, where she already has an office.

She was present when her father received Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in January, and earlier this month took part in a round-table discussion with President Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel during the German leader's visit to the White House.

Her involvement with her father's official duties has raised eyebrows in some quarters over possible conflicts of interest.

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But Ivanka, who was part of her father's business empire and ran an eponymous fashion line, said those qualms are unfounded.

"I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules, and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees," she said in a statement.

"Throughout this process I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House Counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role," she said.

The first daughter's formal title will be assistant to the president. Her husband's title is senior adviser to the president. 

It is unclear why Ivanka Trump characterised her new position as an official federal employee merely as working a "personal capacity", especially since she will be occupying one of Washington's highest ranking jobs.

Also unclear is why she called ethics rules "voluntary". 

Nor has Ivanka Trump or the White House provided any evidence of having satisfied ethics rules.

(WION with inputs from AFP)
 

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