Ivanka Trump‘s new job as a White House employee has led to ethical concerns regarding her ties to her eponymous business — even though she publicly dissociated herself from the label by announcing a formal leave of absence in January.
In an interview on CBS This Morning with Gayle King, the daughter of President Trump shed some light on her new position in his administration, the steps she’s taken to distance herself from her fashion and accessories label, and why she has not sold her line.
When asked by King about her involvement with her company, Ivanka was very frank. “I have no involvement with any of that,” she said. “I felt like proximity to my father and to the White House and — with my husband taking such an influential role in the administration, I didn’t want to also be running a business. So I put it into trust. I have independent trustees. I have no involvement in its management, in its oversight and its strategic decision making.”
King did point out that the trustees appointed are Ivanka’s family members — her brother-in-law Joshua Kushner and sister-in-law Nicole Meyer. The mother of three denies that she speaks to Kushner, who’s the founder and managing partner of the investment firm Thrive Capital, and his sister, Meyer, about the label’s business.
“I take a legal document very seriously, and I wouldn’t go through the pains of setting this up if I intended to violate it,” Ivanka informed King in response to those concerns.
However, Ivanka has still received backlash for not completely detaching herself from the company. Yet, she noted, because the name of the business is her own, she made the decision to remain involved to protect her father. “Had I sold the business, an independent third party would be able to go around the globe today licensing and leveraging the name of the 45th president of the United States of America — completely unfettered,” she said.
When asked directly by King about concerns that Trump businesses are profiting off the family’s place in the White House, Ivanka said that if her main focus were her business, she would simply focus on that.
“I would argue that if I had not come to Washington, D.C., and if I was in New York growing my business, I would be doing far better than by placing the restrictions that I have placed on my team and ensuring that any growth is done with extreme caution,” she said. “So just practically speaking, if my interest was making money or growing my business, I would do far better to completely disengage and do exactly that.”
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