Recently elected POTUS Donald Trump has made several statements in the past promising a presidency without any conflict of interest, vowing to place all his business ventures in a “blind trust.” Critics and lawyers from both parties, however, have pointed out that his children running the company would neither be blind nor a trust.
Trump even named three of his children to his transition team, empowering Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. to be among those choosing the top officials in the new administration.
The President-elect’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also sparked further criticism after it was revealed that his daughter Ivanka Trump, who has no government security clearance, was also in attendance.
Ignoring protocol, the press were also not given access to the session, raising doubts over the new administration’s transparency. If it weren’t for the photos released by the Japanese government, Ivanka Trump’s presence would have not been known.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) November 18, 2016
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner was also spotted at the Abe meeting, as seen on another released photo.
According to a New York Times report, Kushner consulted a lawyer to check on options on how he would be able to join Trump’s administration without breaking the Federal Anti-nepotism law.
Norman Eisen, special counsel / ethics adviser to President Barack Obama told Fortune that Ivanka Trump and Kushner’s presence in a meeting with a world leader was “shocking” and unprecedented.
“If you’ve got one member of the power couple—Jared Kushner, whispering in the President[-elect]’s ear—and if you’ve got the other, the wife and daughter, who is running businesses, it merges the Trump Organization and the United States into one huge conglomerate managed by the Trumps for their own interests,” he says.
Judd Legum, the Editor-In-Chief of ThinkProgress brought up an interesting point in his own post.
“Let’s suppose one of Trump’s companies would like to open a hotel in Japan and is seeking permits. Would the Japanese government deny them and risk the ire of the President of the United States?” he wrote.
As the new head of state, Trump is now expected to represent the people’s interest and not his family nor his businesses. With the way things are going however, it is not hard to see how Trump’s children are being groomed to be more involved in the country’s state of affairs.
Eisen further stated that the concern in their involvement will convert “our intelligence community into a management consulting firm for the Trump family business. That can’t be right. Ivanka must go, and Kushner can’t stay.”