Ivanka Trump given official White House role

Ivanka said she had "heard the concerns" about her previously unofficial advisory role to her father

Ivanka Trump given official White House role

Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks as President Trump, left, listens during a meeting with women small business owners. Picture by: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

Ivanka Trump is taking an official but unpaid role as a special assistant to her father, the White House has confirmed.

The decision follows the ethical concerns that were raised following reports last week that the first daughter was moving into a West Wing office and was in the process of receiving security clearance.

Richard Painter, former White House ethics counsel for George W Bush, told Fox News: “It is very important for the White House to acknowledge she is an employee and not play games." 

It has now been announced that Mrs Trump will have the official title of 'assistant to the president', the New York Times reports.

In a statement quoted by NBC News, the White House said: "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.

"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."

Mrs Trump, meanwhile, said she had "heard the concerns" about her advisory role, and will instead serve as an unpaid employee "subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees".

Salaries

Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner already serves as a senior advisor to President Trump.

While there are anti-nepotism rules in place in Washington, in practice presidents appear to have some freedom when making family appointments.

In a recent legal opinion regarding Mr Kushner's appointment, deputy assistant attorney general Daniel Koffsky wrote: "We believe that the President’s special hiring authority [...] permits him to make appointments to the White House Office that the anti-nepotism statute might otherwise forbid."

Mr Kushner is not, however, drawing a salary to comply with ethics rules.

While Donald Trump himself has previously pledged to take no salary, he later said he would only take $1 due to a constitutional clause requiring presidents to be paid.

Recently, however, the White House said Trump will donate his $400,000 salary to charity at the end of the year.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump wants the White House press corps' help in deciding where the money should go.