A White House financial disclosure reveals Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner raked in $82 million from outside income in 2017 while serving as unpaid senior White House advisors, reports The Washington Post. Experts warn that this absurd income from outside business ventures could lead to conflicts of interest.
Where is all the money coming from? Trump’s $12 million of income last year comes from her stake in the Trump Hotel in Washington, severance from the Trump Organization, the trust that oversees her clothing brand and an advance on her book from Penguin Random House. Her trust that oversees her clothing brand, which is produced entirely in overseas factories, is her largest form of income, bringing in $5 million last year. Her stake in the Trump Hotel earned her $3.9 million, and she received $2 million in salary and severance after leaving the Trump Organization. She also received a $289,300 advance for her book Women Who Work. The report also reveals a change in how Trump receives payments from Trump Organization limited-liability companies. She now receives guaranteed, fixed yearly payments from three companies tied to the organization’s international projects and their profits.
Kushner pulled in $70 million last year. His family’s real estate company is tied to countless other companies, all of which supply income to Kushner. However, he disclosed that he failed to report several stakes in limited-liability companies last year, so his actual income could be even higher than $70 million, although Kushner notes he did divest himself from the stakes before joining the White House. The report shows that Kushner Companies had $2 million in transactions last year, including developments in Times Square and Jersey City. The AP reports that Kushner signed an ethics agreement upon joining the Trump administration and withdrew from his position of CEO of Kushner Companies. However, ethics critics note that even as a passive investor, he still has multiple lucrative investments that could be a conflict of interest.
The White House disclosure reports were strategically released on Monday while all eyes were on Trump and Kim Jong-Un’s meeting in Singapore. Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for the couple’s ethics lawyer Abbe Lowell, stated:
Since joining the administration, Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump have complied with the rules and restrictions as set out by the Office of Government Ethics. As to the current filing which OGE also reviews, their net worth remains largely the same, with changes reflecting more the way the form requires disclosure than any substantial difference in assets or liabilities.
However, it’s difficult to determine if the couple earned more income last year than in 2016 because of the time span of the report. From January 2016 to the first months of 2017, the couple made $19 million from business ventures, and $80 million in real estate and other revenue. The White House report only spans the exact 2017 calendar, a shorter period of time, making it impossible to see if those figures increased once they entered the White House.