This Is Not Normal

Annie Karni at Politico: Ivanka Trump Set to Get West Wing Office as Role Expands.
Ivanka Trump, who moved to Washington saying she would play no formal role in her father's administration, is now officially setting up shop in the White House.

The powerful first daughter has secured her own office on the West Wing's second floor — a space next to senior adviser Dina Powell, who was recently promoted to a position on the National Security Council. She is also in the process of obtaining a security clearance and is set to receive government-issued communications devices this week.

In everything but name, Trump is settling in as what appears to be a full-time staffer in her father's administration, with a broad and growing portfolio — except she is not being sworn in, will hold no official position and is not pocketing a salary, her attorney said.

Trump's role, according to her attorney Jamie Gorelick, will be to serve as the president's "eyes and ears" while providing broad-ranging advice, not just limited to women's empowerment issues. Last week, for instance, Trump raised eyebrows when she was seated next to Angela Merkel for the German chancellor's first official visit to Trump’s White House.

...People close to Ivanka Trump said that she sees nothing unusual about the arrangement — it's simply how she has worked with her father for years, as a senior official at the Trump Organization and as Donald Trump's partner on "The Apprentice."

But in the White House, the unprecedented arrangement for a child of the president has raised new questions about potential conflicts of interest — and about why Ivanka Trump can't simply join the administration as a government employee. Her husband, Jared Kushner, serves as an official senior adviser in the White House and was sworn in, but his hiring also raised questions of whether it violated anti-nepotism laws.
There is much more at the link.

This is not normal, and it should not be normalized. Ivanka Trump has no business getting a White House security clearance or meeting with foreign dignitaries. Her husband has no business being a senior adviser in the White House. Her brothers have no business still running their father's company and striking business deals while he is president.

As Aphra noted yesterday, there are members of the press losing their shit over Chelsea Clinton writing a children's book and at the mere thought of Chelsea Clinton running for office.

There is a legitimate dynasty worth worrying about in this country. Their last name, however, is not Clinton.

And the issue is not merely the valid concerns about nepotism, conflicts of interest, and access to state secrets. It's also that this is further evidence of Trump's deeply paranoid and authoritarian style. Dictators who trust no one often elevate their children to prominent leadership positions, because they are more easily controlled and prioritize loyalty to their parent over loyalty to country, or anything resembling good governance. Note that Ivanka will reportedly "serve as the president's eyes and ears."

This is extremely worrying. And it may seem a small thing compared to the dozens of other subversions of democratic institutions and introduction of fascism, but it's more important than it may appear.

We should not accept this. It is not normal.

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