No more money for these two, please! Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have completed their legally mandated income reporting for the four years during which they served in the White House as advisors to former President Donald Trump, and the numbers are presenting a confusing disparity from how they’ve presented their financial situation. No one thought these two were destitute, obviously, but Ivanka had, for example, publicly announced ceasing operations on her Ivanka Trump brand in 2018, but reports show she continued to earn income from it in the years that followed. Both Ivanka and Kushner had similarly publicly declared they would go without a White House salary, a statement that seemed intended to assuage public concerns that they were enriching themselves through their personal connection to Donald. With their most recent reports, we can safely consider those concerns re-stoked.
It was Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) who analyzed Kushner and Ivanka’s financial disclosures over the past four years, and they found that the couple had reported between $172 million and $640 million in outside income during their time working in the White House. Some of the biggest sources of income included Ivanka’s stake in the D.C. location of the Trump Hotel, a frequent site of business dealings over Donald’s time as president.
This staggering amount of income, which, at its absolute lowest would have still seen the couple taking in $43 million annually, is particularly grating given the 2019 Washington Post op-ed by Jared Kushner’s father Charles in which he says his son made “a substantial financial sacrifice” when he took on a White House role and stepped back from various areas of business.
It’s also grating considering how Ivanka has failed to distinguish herself as a political figure from herself as an influencer, a shift with which Donald also struggled after a lifetime of convincing people to literally buy into the Trump name. Ivanka may have gotten a slap on the wrist when for outright advertising the self-branded bracelet she wore during Donald’s 2016 60 Minutes interview, but four years later she was back at it, smiling and posing with a can of Goya beans. Ivanka’s understanding of fame is impossible to extricate from her certainty that people want to buy what she has, the first and only rule in the Trump playbook.
Put back in a position of power, which it seems they’ll be seeking before too long, Ivanka and Kushner would not hesitate to continue to seek personal profit in the exact same ways they have since 2016, including several moments that raised red flags about conflicts of interest and may have contributed to the enormous figures in their outside income. Why would they, when things went so well the first time?
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