Billion dollar couple: Filings show Ivanka Trump and husband benefiting from business empire

Ms Trump and her husband Jared Kushner leaving the Oval Office at the White House in Washington in February. Just days ago, Ms Trump announced she would officially enter a federal role as an unpaid adviser to the President.
Ms Trump and her husband Jared Kushner leaving the Oval Office at the White House in Washington in February. Just days ago, Ms Trump announced she would officially enter a federal role as an unpaid adviser to the President.PHOTO: NYTIMES
Mr Stephen Bannon, Ms Kellyanne Conway (above) and Mr Gary Cohn.
Mr Stephen Bannon, Ms Kellyanne Conway (above) and Mr Gary Cohn.
Mr Stephen Bannon (above), Ms Kellyanne Conway and Mr Gary Cohn.
Mr Stephen Bannon (above), Ms Kellyanne Conway and Mr Gary Cohn.
Mr Stephen Bannon, Ms Kellyanne Conway and Mr Gary Cohn (above).
Mr Stephen Bannon, Ms Kellyanne Conway and Mr Gary Cohn (above).

Ethics filings reveal Ivanka Trump and hubby's worth, pointing to potential conflict of interest

WASHINGTON • Mr Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have held onto real estate and business investments valued in the hundreds of millions while working government jobs, according to ethics filings just released by the White House.

The disclosures came in a mass document release late on Friday showing the wealth and financial assets of scores of senior White House staff members at the time they began government work.

Together, 27 White House officials had assets worth at least US$2.3 billion (S$3.2 billion) when they joined the administration, according to an analysis of the filings.

Ms Ivanka Trump's stake in the Trump International Hotel, located blocks from the White House, is one source of income that could represent a conflict of interest. Critics have noted that interest groups or foreign governments could stay at the luxury hotel to get in the administration's good graces.

The White House documents show that Ms Trump and Mr Kushner, who are both officially close advisers to the President, are still getting income from holdings valued at between US$240 million and US$740 million (S$1 billion).

  • RICH LIST

    A look at the wealth of some of Mr Trump's aides and advisers.

    IVANKA TRUMP

    The President's daughter and son-in-law, Mr Jared Kushner, are beneficiaries of a sprawling real estate and investment business still worth as much as US$740 million (S$1 billion).

    GARY COHN

    The top economic adviser, a former top Goldman Sachs executive, has assets worth between US$250 million and US$611 million.

    REED CORDISH

    The assistant to the President for intergovernmental and technology initiatives accumulated assets as a Maryland developer valued as high as US$424 million.

    STEPHEN BANNON

    The President's chief strategist held assets worth between US$11.8 million and US$53.8 million.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY

    Counsellor to the President earned nearly US$850,000 in the past year and held assets worth between US$10 million and as much as US$39 million.

    KENNETH JUSTER

    Deputy director of the National Economic Council, a former partner at the investment firm Warburg Pincus, reported minimum assets of at least US$20.4 million.

    SEAN SPICER

    White House press secretary had assets worth between US$2.9 million and US$6.6 million.

    DONALD MCGAHN

    White House general counsel earned US$2.4 million last year as a partner at a law firm.

    Source: NYTIMES, WASHINGTON POST

Ms Trump - who just days ago announced she would officially enter a federal role as an unpaid adviser to the US President - will hang on to her stake in Trump International Hotel, located blocks from the White House. According to her husband's disclosure, the hotel stake is worth between US$5 million and US$25 million.

Between January last year and last month, she made between US$1 million and US$5 million in rent or royalties from the hotel, the documents showed.

Mr Kushner, 36, a senior adviser to Trump with far-reaching influence over domestic and foreign policy, was recently tapped by his father-in-law to lead a new White House office that aims to use business ideas to help streamline the government.

Mr Kushner left high-level positions at more than 200 entities related to his family's real estate business, according to the documents, but will still reap benefits from many holdings related to the business empire he ran with his father.

The disclosures on Friday exposed the assets of as many as 180 senior officials to public scrutiny. They showed the assets and wealth of senior staff members at the time they entered government service.

Those disclosures included the assets of Mr Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs who now leads the National Economic Council, Ms Kellyanne Conway, the pollster and counsel to Mr Trump, and Mr Stephen Bannon, the chief strategist to the President.

Mr Trump's administration is considered the most wealthy in US history, with members of his senior staff and Cabinet worth an estimated US$12 billion (S$17 billion), according to a tally by Bloomberg. The Friday filings will add voluminous detail to that top-line figure.

Wealthy senior White House staff have to enter into ethics agreements where they agree to resign from positions and divest from assets. But the complex holdings of many top administration officials have created potential conflicts of interest that the White House must now navigate, a process that is under way in consultation with the Office of Government Ethics.

The White House on Friday held up the affluence of its staffers as a badge of honour.

 

  • $17b

    What Mr Trump's senior staff and Cabinet are worth.

    $1b

    The likely value of holdings from which Ms Trump and Mr Kushner are getting their income.

"The President has brought a lot of people into this administration, into this White House, in particular, who have been very blessed and very successful by this country and have given up a lot to come into the government by setting aside a lot of assets," said White House press secretary Sean Spicer who, filings showed, had assets worth between US$2.9 million and US$6.6 million.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, WASHINGTON POST,NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 02, 2017, with the headline 'Billion dollar couple'. Print Edition | Subscribe