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Ivanka Trump's White House Office Raises Eyebrows

Ivanka Trump speaking in Pennsylvania in September
Michael Vadon/Flickr

Ivanka Trump will have an office in the White House, though she will hold no official position, according to the Trump administration.

The president’s daughter is slated to receive security clearance and government communication devices, though she will neither get sworn in nor make a salary.

Sean Spicer defended Ivanka Trump’s move to a second floor office, saying she is making a concerted effort to avoid violating any ethical standards.

Spicer said she is going “above and beyond” by maintaining federal records laws and obtaining security clearance, but national security expert Juliette Kayyem says she might be getting a little too close for comfort.

“What I don’t understand is, why can’t she sign the ethics forms? Why doesn’t she take a position?” said Kayyem. “You’re not just the daughter, because what we’ve heard is, you’re going to have access to every room.”

Kayyem acknowledged “a president is always going to have his people,” but stressed that in the past, those people have had to take positions and ascribe to standards set for federal employees.

“We don’t know if your judgement is good or not, so you should take a job, release your ethics forms, be like everyone else and do that,” said Kayyem.

She also said Ivanka Trump’s ability to swing her father toward a more liberal agenda is overstated. She criticized the idea that Ms. Trump has influence over the president to “placate New York progressives.”

Kayyem called this portrayal of Ms. Trump “the narrative that they want you to believe.”

“Her entire career is her name,” she said. “The idea she’s an independent business woman, going to protect working women, working mothers ... do you think I identify with Ivanka Trump? Please.”

Juliette Kayyem is a professor at the Kennedy School and the founder of Kayyem solutions. She contributes to WGBH and CNN. To listen to her interview in its entirety, click on the audio link above.

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