Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He officially hired his daughter Ivanka as his advisor, giving her top-secret clearance and allowing her to serve as Trump's "eyes and ears" within his own administration.

Ivanka Trump's hiring was presented by the Trump White House as putting an end to the ethics controversy surrounding her role in her father's administration. She will now be officially subject to federal ethics rules, at least to the extent her father is willing to enforce them against her. 

The position will give the 35-year-old access to the most sensitive government secrets. Shortly after the election, the prospect of her and her husband Jared Kushner (who was hired on Monday by his father-in-law to head a new White House office) getting security clearances caused a minor scandal. Donald Trump responded furiously, calling reports that he was seeking such a clearance for his children "a typically false news story." Kushner was granted top secret clearance shortly afterward, which Ivanka Trump will now apparently gain as well. Top secret refers to information that, if improperly released, "could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security."

Donald Trump has maintained that federal anti-nepotism laws do not apply to family members hired directly by the president. Both his daughter and son-in-law are reportedly adept at calming Trump, and have gained considerable influence over him, to the chagrin of other factions in Trump's White House.


  • Nepotism does not have to be strictly illegal to be a bad idea.
  • Presidents should not hand out security clearances merely because they find a family member's presence soothing.