Disclosures Detail Trump Staff’s Assets : NPR

Disclosures Detail Trump Staff’s Assets : NPR

President Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner are both employees at the White House.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

In 54 pages of a financial disclosure, President Trump’s son-in-law and key White House adviser, Jared Kushner lists assets and debts owned by him and his wife, Trump’s daughter Ivanka. Pages and pages are devoted to the family’s massive real estate investments.

The couple has emerged as influential advisers in Trump’s White House, unpaid to avoid triggering anti-nepotism rules. Kushner was cleared for the job in January, while Ivanka Trump announced this week that she would assume an official role.

Friday’s financial disclosures show that Trump’s daughter and son-in-law have assets valued at more than $200 million. According to the The New York Times, they “will remain the beneficiaries of a sprawling real estate and investment business still worth as much as $741 million, despite their new government responsibilities.”

The documents show Kushner divested dozens of businesses and investments to avoid conflicts of interest with his public service. He has also resigned from more than 260 posts at various organizations and corporations.

According to the AP, Kushner’s lawyers, “in consultation with the Office of Government Ethics, determined that his real estate assets, many of them in New York City, are unlikely to pose the kinds of conflicts that would trigger a need to divest.”

In the documents, Ivanka Trump also reports a stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., with her share valued between $5 million and $25 million. The filing says she made between $1 million and $5 million in profit off this stake in 2016 and part of 2017.

Given Ivanka Trump’s recent decision to become an official White House employee, her financial disclosures and ethics agreements are expected to be filed later. The Times reports that Ivanka Trump will maintain her stake in the Trump hotel in Washington even as she takes on official government duties.

Kushner’s financial disclosure was one of roughly 180 that the White House said it would make available late on Friday as it begins to provide a picture of the wealth of Trump’s appointees. Others include disclosures for Steve Bannon, former Breitbart executive chairman and Trump’s chief strategist at the White House, and Gary Cohn, National Economic Council director who is a former Goldman Sachs president.

Bannon “earned at least $1.4 million in the last year and held assets valued between $10.7 million and $48.6 million when he joined the administration,” according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal.

Cohn, one of the wealthiest members of Trump’s team, reported assets worth at least $254 million and income of at least $48.3 million over 2016 through early 2017, according to Bloomberg.

The disclosed documents provide a snapshot of each appointee’s holdings as they took office. Many of the records showing subsequent divestitures or resignations will be released later this year. The White House says some appointees are still in the process of divesting assets.

Typically, appointees in a new administration hash out their financial agreements and divestitures before assuming public office. However, the Trump administration has announced a number of appointees before these negotiations took place. Data from the Office of Government Ethics has shown that compared with the Obama administration, the Trump White House has been much slower to submit its nominees’ financial arrangements for review by OGE.

As Trump has appointed numerous hyper-wealthy individuals, the White House points out that its ethics lawyers have been working through highly complex financial arrangements. Estimates for the cumulative wealth of the Trump Cabinet by various media organizations have ranged from $6 billion to $14 billion.

The release of the financial disclosure forms is in compliance with a federal ethics law that requires high-ranking executive branch appointees to disclose their financial holdings and reach agreements with ethics officials. These agreements aim to ensure that none of the appointee’s holdings conflict with his or her duties. Often, the agreements require a sale of assets, resignations from posts or recusals from handling particular matters.

The president and vice president, as elected officials, do have to file financial disclosures, but at a later time. The two of them are also exempt from many conflict-of-interest and ethics laws that apply to their staff.

NPR’s Peter Overby and Tamara Keith contributed to this report.

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