Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's eldest daughter, has apparently caved to criticism her plan to take a high-level advisory role at the White House without actually joining the government as an employee was riddled with ethical concerns.
Ivanka Trump originally said she'd be "voluntarily complying" with all ethics requirements for federal employees, but did not actually plan on becoming a federal employee, raising the question of whether she could quietly choose not to voluntarily comply with those rules later. According to the New York Times, Ivanka Trump is now planning on offsetting those concerns by formally joining the administration as a unpaid staff member.
The real estate heiress had previously remained mum on what her role would actually be, but according to the Times, she now has a formal title: assistant to the president.
While the new arrangement may help ease some of the legal uncertainty surrounding the ethics of Ivanka Trump's new role, it remains unclear whether she will fully divest from her business interests, including her fashion brand. Previously, she stated she would put her brand into a trust, mirroring the much-criticized approach of her father, who simply transferred control of the Trump business empire to his adult sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. instead of divesting.
Finally, the Department of Justice may have ruled anti-nepotism laws do not apply to the president's personal staff. But at the end of the day, formal hiring or not, the appointment still smells a lot like cronyism.
March 29, 2017, 6:18 p.m.: This article has been updated.