Trump family struggles balancing business interests and politics


The Associated Press reported Tuesday morning that Ivanka Trump Marks LLC was granted preliminary approval for three trademarks on April 6 – the same day Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan for dinner at Mar-a-Lago.

The trademarks would confer monopoly rights to Ivanka Trump’s brand in regard to the distribution of their collections.

Trump, who founded her brand in 2007, has shared her father’s run-ins with possible moral quandaries in regards to the inter-mingling of business and politics. President Donald Trump was under fire for claiming that he would put his business into a “blind trust” consisting of Ivanka and his two sons, Donald, Jr. and Eric. Critics went on to point out that it is not a “blind” trust if the company is run by family members. Eric Trump has even admitted that he briefs the President on the business regularly.

Ivanka has possibly been even more caught up in the middle. She has both been tapped as a member of Trump’s “blind trust” for the company and an adviser in the White House. She is married to Jared Kushner, whose role in the Oval Office grows every day. And her business has been booming, despite a hiccup with Nordstrom in February.

“Shop Ivanka’s look from her #RNC speech,” the first daughter tweeted, along with a link to her listed clothing on the Macy’s website.

After the election of Donald Trump on Nov. 8, sales for Ivanka Trump’s fashion jumped up 46 percent on, an e-commerce website. Trump was part of a meeting between her father and Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, when her brand was in the middle of negotiating a licensing deal with a company – a company that the Japanese government also owned a large stake in. The deal was later put on hold.

Ivanka stepped away from her executive positions in both Trump companies on Jan. 11, shortly before her father’s inauguration. At this time, her husband, Jared Kushner, was heavily involved with the Trump transition team.

Possibly the most transparent conflict of business and politics came when White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was interviewed on Fox and Friends in the midst of Ivanka’s feud with Nordstrom.

“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you. … I’m going to give it a free commercial here: Go buy it today,” Conway told the audience.

Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) requested that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform look into Conway’s possible ethical violations.

“This appears to be a textbook violation of government ethics laws and regulations enacted to prevent the abuse of an employee’s government position,” Cummings said.

Conway was eventually reprimanded by President Trump and has seen a diminished role in the White House since then.

Ivanka’s brand, however, saw a boost once again after the “free commercial.” Sales for her merchandise saw a 771 percent increase in sales throughout February.

Reports surfaced some time in March saying that Ivanka Trump had received high level security and an office in the White House, although according to the AP’s timeline of events, this came after Trump had removed herself from executive positions in the family businesses.