Trump aides to reveal financial portfolios
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 23:55
"The remaining conflicts, from a practical perspective, are pretty narrow and very manageable", said Jamie Gorelick, an attorney who has been working on the ethics agreements for Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
The financial disclosure forms, which are required by law of certain White House aides and list income and assets in broad categories only, come as the White House released the holdings of about 180 administration employees Friday night. Officials are sending them one by one to individual news organizations.
Trump, a real estate magnate and television celebrity with no political experience before he was elected president, has brought in some high-net-worth people to advise him. He has handed off control to his two oldest sons, but ethics watchdogs have complained that the arrangements do not go far enough to avoid conflicts and they have urged Mr Trump to divest fully or set up a blind trust for his assets.
And what role does that leave for the president himself?
The report for chief strategist Steve Bannon reflects his ties to the wealthy Mercer family, which was one of the biggest financial benefactors of Trump's candidacy past year.
Bannon reported $191,000 in consulting fees earned from the conservative outlet Breitbart News Network, which he formerly headed, as well as more than $125,000 for work at the data firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for the Trump campaign, and more than $61,000 in salary for a conservative nonprofit group. And the Government Accountability Institute, an investigative think tank whose president wrote the book that that eventually became the documentary gave Bannon a US$61,539 salary as chairman.
Kathleen Clark, a legal ethics expert and professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said that the White House's former position was "indefensible" and that "that "voluntary" language really obscured the point - they are claiming that she had a choice". She owns a very small stake in a real estate investment company known as Cherrywood Partnership, which owns apartment buildings in Pennsylvania.
According to her husband's disclosure the hotel stake is worth between $5 million and $25 million.
"I'm anxious about getting my own done", said Spicer.
The title, despite its secretary-ish connotations, is a prestigious one by USA government standards-everyone from chief of staff Lewis Libby to presidential speechwriter Michael Gerson was an "assistant" to the president in the George W. Bush White House, for example, although often there is an additional title that comes after it (eg "and deputy national security advisor").
Ivanka Trump maintains a stake in the president's controversial Washington, D.C., hotel property, but it is not clear she is earning income from that tie.
Neither President Donald Trump or Vice-President Mike Pence were part of the disclosure release, which came late on Friday.
"It's nearly impossible to come up with simple recusals, because government matters are so interwoven", he said, pointing out that discussions about job creation or even maternity leavecould unexpectedly veer into policy talks that would affect her business.
Reuters news agency quoted a White House official as saying about 25 percent of Mr Trump's White House were classified as having "extremely complex" filings, indicating they were very wealthy.
Kellyanne Conway, who serves as counselor to the president, has a multimillion-dollar portfolio, including between $6.5 million and $31 million in cash and money market accounts. In all, Hahn reported investments that could be worth as much as $2.5 million.