President-elect Donald Trump has revealed he is still trying to find a loophole to a rule preventing him from appointing family members into his administration.
Mr Trump previously announced plans to hand over his business empire to his elder children Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric Trump, but told Fox News on Sunday that his transition team was trying to engineer daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, jobs in Washington.
A federal nepotism law preventing Mr Trump from hiring from within the family could prove a problem, however.
“We will have to see how the laws read,” Mr Trump told Fox News Sunday‘s Chris Wallace.
“If you look at Ivanka, you take a look and she’s so strong, as you know, on the women’s issue and childcare and so many things … nobody could do better than her – we’ll have to see whether or not we can do that.”
Mr Trump described Mr Kushner as “very talented”.
“I’d love to have Jared helping us on deals with other nations and see if we can do peace in the Middle East and other things. He’s very talented. He’s a very talented guy. So, we’re looking at that from a legal standpoint right now.”
Ivanka Trump is a former model and the current executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization.
She is a published author and has a fashion, homewares and accessory line.
Ivanka was reportedly instrumental in her father’s election pledge on childcare policy.
Mr Kushner is the son of wealthy property developer Charles Kushner (convicted and jailed for tax evasion and witness tampering) and is himself a successful property investor.
He owns the New York Observer newspaper and advised Mr Trump during the election campaign.
Mr Kushner is so close to Mr Trump that the President-elect requested he be granted a special security clearance to advise him during the handover to the Trump administration.
The United States federal nepotism law was enacted four years after John F. Kennedy picked his brother Robert Kennedy as his attorney-general.
The law comes under the control of the House Committee on Ethics and “generally prohibits a federal official, including a Member of Congress, from appointing, promoting, or recommending for appointment or promotion any ‘relative’ of the official to any agency or department over which the official exercises authority or control”.
“The statute defines a relative, for these purposes, as ‘an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister’.”
Mr Trump also confirmed to Fox News his wife and youngest son would be moving into the White House come his inauguration – quashing speculation they would remain in his opulent Trump Towers apartment in New York.
The President-elect said wife Melania would be flying in between the two cities while 10-year-old Barron finished up school for the year.
Mr Trump said he was not worried about being lonely in the new residence while his wife and son were out of town.
“No, I’ll be working,” he said.
“It’s a very special place and it represents so much, and there’s a lot to do. There’s a lot to do, more than I ever thought.”