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Trump Appoints Son-in-Law as Top Adviser

11/01/2017

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[00:00.00]
  • American President-elect Donald Trump has appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner to a high-level position in his administration.
  • [00:15.53]
  • Trump asked Kushner to serve as a senior adviser to the president.
  • [00:24.07]
  • Unlike cabinet positions, the job of adviser does not require approval of the United States Senate.
  • [00:35.38]
  • Six members of Congress are questioning Kushner’s appointment.
  • [00:42.22]
  • All six belong to the Democratic Party.
  • [00:47.25]
  • The lawmakers wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
  • [00:59.74]
  • They noted that a 1967 law bars a public official from appointing a family member to the same agency in which the official serves.
  • [01:17.10]
  • They also asked the Justice Department and ethics officials to investigate possible conflicts of interest.
  • [01:28.63]
  • Jared Kushner is married to Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
  • [01:36.33]
  • Lawyer Jamie Gorelick is advising Kushner on legal issues.
  • [01:44.60]
  • She said the law does not affect the president because the White House does not fall under the definition of an agency.
  • [01:57.30]
  • The lawyer also said that Kushner plans to sell all his foreign investments and his financial interests in an investment company and an office building in New York.
  • [02:14.55]
  • He also will resign as head of Kushner Companies and as the publisher of The New York Observer newspaper before working for the Trump administration.
  • [02:30.48]
  • The six lawmakers questioned Gorelick’s statement that Kushner would remove himself from decisions involving his remaining financial interests after leaving his companies.
  • [02:48.11]
  • They said he would still have investments that could be affected by government policy that he influences.
  • [02:59.33]
  • Aides to Donald Trump said that, as a presidential adviser, Kushner will work mainly on issues involving trade and the Middle East.
  • [03:13.30]
  • They said he will work closely with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon.
  • [03:24.87]
  • Legal experts are offering differing opinions about whether the appointment of Trump’s son-in-law violates the 50-year-old law.
  • [03:39.23]
  • Kathleen Clark is a law professor at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri.
  • [03:48.20]
  • She said her understanding of the law is that it does affect the president.
  • [03:57.09]
  • “Congress didn’t in this law carve out an exception for the White House,” Clark told the Associated Press.
  • [04:06.98]
  • She said it governs the presidency, the legislature, the courts and the District of Columbia government.
  • [04:17.95]
  • But Indiana University professor Gerald Magliocca said he did not think the law could be used to restrict the president’s team without risking constitutional problems.
  • [04:36.27]
  • “It’s hard to see why Congress has the authority to limit presidential staff members,” he said.
  • [04:47.19]
  • I’m Caty Weaver.
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