Both President Trump’s supporters and enemies were quite frankly flabbergasted when he appointed his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to positions in the White House. For his opponents, it allowed them to accuse him of the nepotism they had always suspected he was capable of, while his supporters were left thinking this isn’t what we voted for’. Ivanka and Jared both lean towards the Democrats, they always have and they always will. They were always going to be an obstacle to Trump’s populist agenda, which makes his decision to appoint them all the more ludicrous.
Jared’s position as ‘Senior Advisor to the President’ and the fact his office is closest to the Oval Office than anybody else’s, really does hammer home the message that the centrists are not only subverting Trump’s agenda but are actively dismantling it and discarding its ashes into the rubbish bin. Jared was put in charge of the peace effort between the Israelis and the Palestinians, an appointment which is ludicrous when considering Kushner is a Zionist Jew. There is no way that he, especially considering his close friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will work objectively in such a task.
Jared is also one of the major forces behind the First Step Act, legislation which, if successful, will cut the sentencing length for numerous crimes including drug dealing and bank robbery. His idiotic assertion that the law will ‘make our communities safer’ has done nothing to calm the fears of many, especially his father-in-law’s support base. Trump had promised to be tough on crime, a promise on which he has not followed through.
Kushner has also been a significant figure in the ongoing Russia investigation, though there is no evidence of any wrongdoing at this stage. However, his business dealings and connections in both Russia and China, two of America’s greatest rivals, have heightened concerns that there may be a conflict of interest in Kushner’s work. Add on top of that Kushner’s Israeli connections, and you have an ‘interesting’ individual to say the least. He has appeared before both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees during a closed session and was also questioned by Robert Mueller’s investigators.
Ivanka though is by far the most annoying of the two, at least from the perspective of a Trump supporter. She, like her husband, was appointed as an ‘Advisor to the President’, despite having questionable suitability for such a role. She has come across increasingly as a ‘Daddy’s girl’ who nags her father to implement certain agendas, while at the same time virtue to signaling to the public at large. If the reports were accurate, it was her tears which caused Trump to bomb a Syrian base in April 2017.
Ivanka also pushed for a tax break which would benefit herself and her husband’s business interests. The tax break lowered the tax threshold for those investing and developing in low-income areas, something which Jared is heavily involved in. She worked closely with Senator Tim Scott on the legislation and reportedly spoke with him over 10 times on the matter. Indeed, it has also emerged that private equity interests linked to Ivanka have set up investment funds related to the program.
There was also the rather embarrassing revelation that Ivanka had used her personal email for White House business over a hundred times, even after her father had spent months on the campaign trail lambasting Hillary Clinton for doing a similar thing. Such carelessness is extraordinary and shows a lack of self-awareness that is worrying. Whether she sees her time in the White House as a ‘family affair’ and this has made her ignorant of the proper protocol is speculative, but at the same time it is hard not to come to that conclusion.
It is not unprecedented for the President to have family members perform some kind of role in their political career; however, it is justifiable that such decisions will lead to increased scrutiny. If Trump’s populist agenda is being derailed by his daughter and his son-in-law, and he’s continually allowing them to do it, that probably says more about his judgment than theirs. Or perhaps Trump simply used populist rhetoric to get elected, and at the end of the day he is just a boomer-centrist who likes tax cuts.
Whatever the case, I have no doubt that more revelations about the goings-on in the White House will emerge in the months ahead, and especially after Trump leaves office. Many people thought that the ‘chaotic White House’ rumors in 2017 were just left-wing propaganda; however, I am beginning to come round to the idea that they have some basis in reality. Stephen Miller is really the only true anti-immigration hawk left in the Administration, and I doubt Jared and Ivanka are making his life easy.
The fact that Donald Trump Jr, who is very right wing, has not played a political role in his father’s Administration, and the fact that his liberal daughter has, is very interesting. Perhaps the President wants Trump Jr to concentrate on the family business, but then, on the other hand, he has his other son Eric for that. So could it be that Trump installed liberal relatives in his Administration because he actually favors their views more than his right-wing son’s views? It sounds unlikely, but with Trump’s immigration agenda seemingly being swept under the carpet, there is a possibility this is true.