President-elect Donald Trump announced Monday that his son-in-law Jared Kushner will join him in the White House as a senior adviser.
“Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted advisor throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration,” President-elect Trump said in a statement. “He has been incredibly successful, in both business and now politics. He will be an invaluable member of my team as I set and execute an ambitious agenda, putting the American people first.”
Kushner, like Trump, is a real estate developer and also owns the New York Observer. His lawyers announced Monday that Kushner will be stepping down from his company, divest “substantial assets” and sell off other assets including the Observer to a family trust.
A federal law prohibits the president from appointing relatives to cabinet positions, but the Trump transition team is maintaining that this “senior adviser” role steers clear of the anti-nepotism statute.
Kushner won’t be taking a salary in his new role, and his lawyer said in a statement that Kushner is “committed to complying with federal ethics laws and we have been consulting with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the steps he would take.”
The 35-year old New York businessman played a prominent role in Trump’s campaign. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, said in a December interview, “Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election.”
“Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources,” Schmidt added.
Kushner said in a statement that he is “energized by the shared passion of the President-elect and the American people” and that he is “humbled by the opportunity to join this very talented team.”