Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, will be taking on a very familiar role in the White House as a senior advisor to the President. During Trump’s campaign for the Presidency, Kushner was considered a loyal and trusted advisor. Kushner’s appointment serves to solidify a new hardline approach to governing as the Trump administration takes on a more business-like style. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager and a key advisor to his presidential transition team, praised Kushner’s appointment on Twitter.
Best News of the Day. Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner to Be Named Senior White House Adviser https://t.co/GGmpeUq2oA
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 9, 2017
In true Trump-like fashion, Kushner will not accept a salary in his role inside the White House. According to Trump’s presidential transition team, Kushner will be focusing primarily on trade and Middle East policy. He will be working closely with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
Kushner, the 35-year-old principal owner of Kushner Companies, will be stepping away from his role in his family company and investments — to include all foreign investments — in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Democratic pundits and news anchors have expressed concerns regarding anti-nepotism laws over the last few hours after news broke of the potential appointment. It should be noted, however, that Kushner is not accepting a salary and he is not filling a position requiring confirmation. Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who served under the Clinton administration, has stated that she believes the law does not apply to White House appointees because the office is not considered an agency. Though we can expect to continue to hear opposing interpretations of the federal anti-nepotism law of 1967 over the next few days, it is likely that Trump will get his way.
As the President-elect finalizes his administration in the coming days, this appointment seems a step in the right direction. Kushner’s family has strong ties to Israel, both in the realm of business and philanthropy. Early in his youth, Kushner was able to establish a relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu through his father’s business dealings in the area and is also said to be good friends with the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.
Though Kushner has not made many trips to the region since taking the helm of his father’s company, he has hosted the Prime Minister and Mayor in New York on several occasions. This friendship offers a potential new opportunity to improve the strained U.S.-Israeli relations that many considered damaged by the recent U.N. resolution passively supported by the Obama administration. Trump has repeatedly stated that he believes Kushner could serve a key role in Trump’s quest for peace in the Middle East.