President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, played a large behind-the-scenes role in propelling the candidate through the primaries and into the White House, and now it appears Kushner could fill an important spot in a Trump administration.
According to news reports, the Trump transition team has requested a security clearance for Kushner, though it has yet to be announced whether Kushner will hold an official title or play a more informal role in Trump’s White House.
Should he take a job in the White House, Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, would likely serve in a position along the lines of a special counsel or special adviser, those reports said.
Trump’s press secretary Hope Hicks told the Associated Press earlier this week that the Trump transition team “would love” Kushner to be a member of the administration.
“People are hopeful that will continue in the administration,” she said.
US anti-nepotism laws
Trump has several options if he wants to bring Kushner onboard, though it is unclear whether federal anti-nepotism laws would prevent Trump from putting Kushner in a paid White House position.
The law bans the appointing of a relative to a federal cabinet agency, like the Department of Defense or the Department of State, but legal experts say the law is not likely to apply to White House staff.
Even if the law were to apply to Kushner, it would only affect paid employees, and he has indicated he will not take a salary for any work in the White House.
Should Trump go the other route and bring Kushner on as an informal adviser, he could appoint Kushner to a number of different civilian boards tasked with advising the president on various issues. Though many of these civilians still possess outside business interests, the president has wide-ranging authority in offering them security clearances.
Like Trump, Kushner is the son of a successful real estate family – and a successful real estate developer in his own right – but unlike Trump, Kushner likes to maintain a low profile, as he did when he helped steer the Trump campaign to victory.
Kushner, who married Trump’s daughter Ivanka in 2009, came onboard the Trump campaign just after the Iowa caucuses in February and played a key role in turning what was a small, undisciplined operation into a successful presidential campaign.
According to sources close to the campaign, Kushner became Trump’s eyes and ears within his campaign headquarters as Trump and then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski traveled the country for events.
Kushner almost single-handedly built the campaign infrastructure needed to win the election, they said, designating specific teams to handle social media and advertising, scheduling and budget concerns.
Despite never having held an official position in politics, Kushner worked to become one of Trump’s closest advisers and is now heavily involved in the decisions being made by Trump’s transition team.
Kushner was one of only a few advisers Trump brought along with him to the White House last week for his first formal meeting with President Obama.