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Posted at: Jan 11, 2017, 12:40 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2017, 7:28 PM (IST)

Trump names son-in-law Kushner as senior adviser, triggers concern

The position, unlike Cabinet posts, does not require US Senate confirmation

Alibaba’s Jack Ma meets Trump, promises to bring 1m jobs to US

  • Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma met US President-elect Donald Trump on Monday and laid out the Chinese e-commerce giant’s new plan to bring one million small US businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years, an Alibaba spokesman said. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd expects the initiative to create one million US jobs as each company adds a position, company spokesman Bob Christie said in a phone call.

Democrats cry nepotism, conflict of interest

  • The House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers along with several other Democratic lawmakers called on the Department of Justice and the Office of Government Ethics to review concerns of nepotism and conflicts of interest arising from this.
  • “To begin with, Mr Kushner’s appointment may run afoul of...the Federal anti-nepotism statute,” the lawmakers said in a letter to the US Office of Government Ethics.
  • Under that statute, a “public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving” a relative.
  • The statute defines the term “public official” to include the President and defines the term “relative” to include a “son-in-law”, they said. The Democratic lawmakers alleged that Kushner’s position may allow him to influence policy
Trump names son-in-law Kushner as senior adviser, triggers concern
Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner standing on stage at the end of an event at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City in this July 16, 2016 photo. AFP

Washington, January 10

US President-elect Donald Trump today appointed his 35-year-old son-in-law Jared Kushner as his senior adviser that would make him one of the most powerful individuals in the incoming White House team, prompting Democrats to immediately call for a review of the move, citing nepotism laws and potential conflicts.

During the grilling presidential election campaign, Trump had publicly acknowledged the important role being played by 35-year-old Kushner, the husband of his daughter Ivanka Trump.

“Kushner has been a tremendous asset and trusted adviser throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration,” Trump said in a statement.

“He has been incredibly successful, in both business and now politics. He will be an invaluable member of my team as I set and execute an ambitious agenda, putting the American people first,” said the President-elect.

Kushner was instrumental in formulating and executing the strategy behind Trump’s historic victory in November.

“Kushner has chosen to forego his salary while serving in the administration,” the Presidential Transition Team said in a statement. The position, unlike Cabinet posts, does not require US Senate confirmation.

Trump’s transition team said there is no legal problem with having Jared Kushner serve in the White House because an anti-nepotism law enacted in 1967 does not apply to the president’s staff.

The outgoing Obama Administration said it is for the President-elect to choose his team. “I’ll let President-elect Trump select whomever he would like to have around him. What I can tell you is that President Obama and all of those of us who served on his senior staff here in the White House went to great lengths to comply with the strict ethical requirements that the American people expect of people who are entrusted with so much authority,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. — PTI

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