Activist Al Sharpton on Saturday likened Ivanka Trump to the daughters of former President Barack Obama as he railed against the fact that shed had been given an office in the West Wing of the White House.
“If President Barack Obama had given his daughters or his mother-in-law an office and some access to classified documents and cleared security status, they would have run him and everybody else out (of) the White House,” said Sharpton, referring to Obama’s young children, Sasha and Malia, and Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama’s mother, who moved into the White House to help care for her grandchildren.
Sharpton said that although Ivanka Trump will be helping her father, President Donald Trump, without actually being on the federal payroll, that made things worse instead of better.
Giving a office on the West Wing of Ivanka Trump, somebody explain to me how you can give security clearance, access to classified material, and a office to somebody that don’t have a title or job?” Sharpton said.
“They say now she ain’t got no title. She ain’t got no role. We ain’t payin’ her no money. But she can see everything classified,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton and other critics of the Trump administration have said giving the president’s daughter White House access is wrong.
Despite flak from Democrats and Obama loyalists, the recent announcement follows months of efforts to ensure issues such as potential conflicts of interest have been dealt with, according to Ivanka Trump’s attorney.
Jamie Gorelick, an attorney and ethics adviser for Ivanka Trump, said the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has said the president can consult with family members as private citizens, and that Ivanka Trump will be doing just that.
“Our view is that the conservative approach is for Ivanka to voluntarily comply with the rules that would apply if she were a government employee, even though she is not,” said Gorelick. “The White House Counsel’s Office agrees with that approach.”
Although Ivanka Trump took a low-profile approach to Washington for the first few weeks of the Trump administration, she has been more visible in recent weeks, and was a major participant in a meeting on vocational education that took place during the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.