Ivanka Trump, right, listens as her father Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a policy speech on child care, Sept. 13, 2016, in Aston, Pa. 
Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Ivanka Trump gains unprecedented new powers in the White House

Shortly after the election, there were multiple reports about Donald Trump seeking security clearance for his adult children. Soon after, the president quickly knocked those reports down, saying via Twitter, “I am not trying to get ‘top level security clearance’ for my children. This was a typically false news story.”

Four months later, however, the story has apparently changed for at least one of the Trump kids. Politico reported:
Ivanka Trump, who moved to Washington saying she would play no formal role in her father’s administration, is now officially setting up shop in the White House.

The powerful first daughter has secured her own office on the West Wing’s second floor – a space next to senior adviser Dina Powell, who was recently promoted to a position on the National Security Council. She is also in the process of obtaining a security clearance and is set to receive government-issued communications devices this week.
Even by Trump standards, it’s hard to know what to make of a story like this. Ivanka Trump won’t get a paycheck, but she will get classified information. She won’t have a White House position, but she will have an office in the West Wing.

As is often the case with this administration, there’s no real precedent for this. Americans have seen the president’s adult kids adopting ceremonial roles, but Ivanka Trump is participating in meetings with foreign leaders – literally sitting next to Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Germany’s Angela Merkel during recent White House discussions – and tackling a policy portfolio.

She’ll answer to no one but her father, and will get around nepotism laws by not having an official paid position.

I’ve long assumed that Ivanka Trump would have special access to the president, but this job-that-isn’t-exactly-a-job is something else. It’s … odd.

It was strange when Trump picked Ivanka Trump’s husband, a young man with a background in real estate, to serve as a senior adviser to the president, and it’s equally strange that Ivanka Trump herself will soon have a West Wing office and security clearance.

Is this the result of Trump not trusting people who aren’t literally members of his immediate family?

What do you suppose we’d hear from the political world if a President Hillary Clinton extended this role to Chelsea Clinton?