JUNE 11, 2018
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, brought in at least $82 millionin outside income while serving as senior White House advisers during 2017, according to new financial disclosure forms released Monday.
Ivanka Trump earned $3.9 million from her stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, while Kushner reported over $5 million in income from Quail Ridge, a Kushner Cos. apartment complex acquired last year in Plainsboro, N.J.
The filings show how the couple are collecting immense sums from other enterprises while serving in the White House, an extraordinary income flow that ethics experts have warned could create potential conflicts of interests.
While both Kushner and Ivanka Trump were required to file financial forms last year, it is difficult to compare their past to present wealth because there are several months of overlap in the reporting period and the Office of Government Ethics uses broad ranges to calculate assets and liabilities.
In an email statement, Peter Mirijanian — a spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s and Ivanka Trump’s ethics counsel — said that the couple have followed all ethics rules and that Monday’s disclosures are an insufficient way to understand the nuances of their net worth.
“Since joining the administration, Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump have complied with the rules and restrictions as set out by the Office of Government Ethics,” Mirijanian said. “As to the current filing which OGE also reviews, their net worth remains largely the same, with changes reflecting more the way the form requires disclosure than any substantial difference in assets or liabilities.”
The new filings reflect a change in the structure of Ivanka Trump’s payments from limited liability companies affiliated with the Trump Organization. Trump will now receive guaranteed fixed yearly payments instead of payments determined by profits from T International Realty LLC, TTT Consulting LLC, and TTTT Venture LLC — which are LLCs tied to some of the Trump Organization’s international developments. The yearly payments will total $1.5 million, according to the filings, which was a change made in consultation with Office of Government Ethics officials to reduce her “interest in the performance of the business.”
Ivanka Trump also reported over $2 million from severance from the Trump Corp. in 2017. Her father was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, and Ivanka Trump officially joined the White House as an unpaid senior adviser in March 2017, after her initial attempts to serve as an informal adviser raised ethics questions. Trump was paid a $289,300 advance by Penguin Random House for her book, “Women Who Work.”
Kushner disclosed that he had failed to report several stakes in limited liability companies — including Vegas Seven, which is a Las Vegas online news publication, and the Veggie Grill, a restaurant in Manhattan Beach, Calif. The filing noted that Kushner divested his stakes before joining the White House but did not report the assets previously because of an accounting oversight.
While Kushner has resigned from 260 corporate positions and no longer has any role in running his family’s real estate company, he has repeatedly been subject to public scrutiny over the perception that he has not done enough to draw lines between his private business interests and his sprawling portfolio of West Wing responsibilities.
Kushner Cos. has reported more than $2 billion in transactions in the past two years, including developments in Times Square and Jersey City. A Washington Post analysis of his holdings last year showed that Kushner had retained roughly 90 percent of his real estate holdings.
Before entering the White House, Kushner sold his stake in 666 Fifth Ave., the Kushner Cos.’ Manhattan building plagued by debt that exceeded $1 billion, to a trust controlled by his mother. (Kushner is not a beneficiary of the trust.)
In a wide-ranging interview in late May with the Real Deal, a New York City real estate publication, Kushner’s father derided ethics watchdogs as “jerks” who “can’t get a real job” and suggested that the criticism may discourage rich and successful people from taking government positions.
“I look at what my kids have sacrificed to go into government, with the only intent of doing good for this country and for the world, and to help people,” Charles Kushner told the Real Deal. “And what they have sacrificed, and the daily barrage of negative media, and the attacks they get, and they had a perfect, beautiful life and they still have a very good life, but they sacrificed a lot.”
Courtesy/Source: Washington Post