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Trump appoints son-in-law as senior advisor, triggers concern

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
By Lalit K Jha

Washington: US President-elect Donald Trump today appointed his 35-year-old son-in-law Jared Kushner as his senior advisor that would make him one of the most powerful individuals in the incoming White House team, prompting Democrats to immediately call for a review of the move, citing nepotism laws and potential conflicts.

Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, is a property developer with a wide range of business interests. He had played a key role in the presidential campaign and his new White House job will cover both domestic and foreign policy.

"Kushner 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," Trump said in a statement ahead of his inauguration on January 20.

"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," said the President-elect.

"Kushner has chosen to forego his salary while serving in the administration," the Presidential Transition Team said in a statement.

The incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that Kushner is "a visionary with a rare ability" to communicate with and assemble broad coalitions of support.

"His entrepreneurial mindset will be a great asset to the team as well as his open mind, adaptability and keen intellect," he said.

Trump's transition team said there is no legal problem with having Jared Kushner serve in the White House because an anti-nepotism law enacted in 1967 does not apply to the president's staff.

"It is an honour to serve our country. I am energised by the shared passion of the President-elect and the American people and I am humbled by the opportunity to join this very talented team," Kushner said.

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