Ivanka Trump: A White House force, just not an ’employee’

FILE - In this March 17, 2017, file photo, Ivanka Trump arrives for news conference with President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Ivanka Trump will have security clearance, a West Wing office and the ear of her father on important policy matters. But don’t call her an employee. When it comes to government work, “employee” is more than just a word. That designation triggers an array of transparency and ethical provisions, including a law prohibiting conflicts of interest. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump will have security clearance, a West Wing office and the ear of her father on important policy matters. But don’t call her an employee.

When it comes to government work, “employee” is more than just a word. That designation triggers transparency and ethical provisions, including a law prohibiting conflicts of interest.

Government watchdogs have written a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn expressing concern that she’s not been deemed an employee. They are worried that it gives her a loophole if she improperly mingles her government policy roles with her business and financial interests.

The White House insists Ivanka Trump will voluntarily follow employee rules and has already taken steps to separate from her fashion and lifestyle brand. She retains ownership of it.

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