Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner worth up to $740 million, part of an ultra-wealthy White House staff
The White House released financial disclosures for several top Trump staffers.
By ALEXANDER MALLIN
April 1, 2017, 5:54 PM
• 5 min read
-- Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner remain beneficiaries of a real estate and business empire worth up to $740 million even as both also hold senior roles at the White House.
The financial information on the president's daughter and son-in-law is among a trove of financial disclosure forms that confirm the astounding wealth of senior staff in the White House, who have an estimated combined net worth of at least $12 billion. Ivanka Trump, who just this week became a federal employee as an assistant to the president, has yet to file her own financial disclosure information. Kushner is a senior adviser to Trump.
Among the revelations on the 54-page disclosure form by Kushner is that his wife, Ivanka, continues to hold a stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., at the same time that the Trump Organization rents the hotel’s building from the federal government that now employs Ivanka.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner's continued vast business holdings led one ethics expert to say the couple should recuse themselves from involvement in any government matters that could affect their business interests.
Richard Painter, who was an ethics czar in President George W. Bush's administration, tweeted late Friday that in light of the financial disclosures, the couple will have to "recuse [themselves] from matters affecting real estate and their lenders." Painter is part of a legal team that with watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has sued President Trump over claims that he is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by his decision not to divest from his businesses.
Kushner, in accepting the White House job in January, pledged to divest from all his common-stock and foreign investments. He resigned from 260 business entities, sold off 58 businesses and put most of his financial holdings into a trust overseen by his mother, officials have told ABC News.
Hours before the White House began on Friday to release the disclosures -- which are required by law and must be made public -- press secretary Sean Spicer sought to present the wealth of senior staff in a positive light, pointing out their willingness as federal appointees to open their finances to public scrutiny and to "set aside" much of their private interests in order to work for Trump's agenda.
"The president has brought a lot of people into this administration and this White House in particular who have been very blessed and very successful by this country," Spicer said. "It speaks volumes to the desire for a lot of these people to fulfill the president’s vision and move the agenda forward that they are willing to list all of their assets, undergo this public scrutiny, but also set aside a lot."
Trump's chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, formerly chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, earned at least $48.3 million in income in 2016, and holds assets valued at $252 million and $611 million.
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and her husband George Conway disclosed assets that were worth between $10 million and $39.3 million when she began work at the White House at the start of Trump's term.
And, the financial information for Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, gives some sense of his income from his work with media and other outfits tied to conservative causes. Bannon earned nearly $400,000 in consulting fees in 2016 from Breitbart news, Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm, and the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative research organization. Bannon also received $100,000 in income from conservative film production company Citizens United Productions, and his assets are valued at somewhere between $11.8 million and $53.8 million.
Spicer was asked by media Friday about the contrast between the financial disclosures on White House senior staff and President Trump's continued refusal to release his tax returns.
"That’s apples and oranges," Spicer said. The disclosure forms on senior staff "are required by law."