Newly-released financial disclosure forms have revealed how much Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have earned from outside income while working at the White House, resurrecting concerns over possible conflicts of interest.
The disclosures showed that the US president's daughter and son-in-law earned more than $82 million (€69 million) in outside income in their first year serving as senior advisers to the president, the Washington Post first reported . Ivanka made $3.9 million from her stake in the Trump International Hotel and reported more than $5 million in earnings from her personal brand.
Ms Trump and Mr Kushner both chose to forgo drawing taxpayer-funded salaries from their roles in the White House. The disclosures nonetheless reinforce the ways in which the couple has continued to earn money from the Trump Organisation and outside business endeavours.
Because the financial disclosures report assets in broad ranges, it is difficult to determine the extent to which Ms Trump and Mr Kushner's wealth has risen during their time at the White House. The disclosures are filed annually to the Office of Government Ethics. Donald Trump and the vice-president, Mike Pence, submitted their 2017 financial disclosure forms last month.
Mr Kushner yielded more than $5 million from a New Jersey property acquired by his family's real estate business last year. Ivanka Trump reported $2 million in severance pay from an entity called the Trump Payroll Corp. She also received an advance totalling $289,000 for the book she published last year, Women Who Work. Ms Trump said she would donate the profits from the book to charity.
Conflicts of interest
The couple’s vast business investments have repeatedly drawn scrutiny for potential ethics violations. Government watchdog groups have accused the Trump family of using the presidency and its stature for personal profit.
Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Mr Kushner and Ms Trump's outside counsel, said the couple's net worth "remains largely the same, with changes reflecting more the way the form requires disclosure than any substantial difference in assets or liabilities".
Prior to joining the White House, Mr Kushner resigned as chief executive from his real estate development business, Kushner Companies, stepped down from more than 260 corporate positions and partially divested from some of his assets. He nonetheless retained the vast majority of his interest in Kushner Companies.
But concerns over potential conflicts of interest resurfaced earlier this year when it was reported that several foreign governments saw Mr Kushner, who has a wide-ranging foreign policy portfolio, as a target for manipulation based on his business interests and personal debt. Ethics watchdogs also sounded alarms over Ms Trump’s brand continuing to win trademarks overseas . – Guardian