President Donald Trump has been accused of nepotism for giving top adviser roles to his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, respectively, but it is an accusation Mr. Trump doesn’t mind.
“Mr. Trump is all about family loyalty,” said Will Watts, writer of Trump biography Mr. Trump. “He put his kids in executive roles in the Trump Organization very early on, arguably too early, because he just doesn’t trust people he hasn’t conceived very easily.”
Since becoming president, he has left his business in the hands of his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump rather than arguably more experienced business partners.
“I contacted Trump after the election to congratulate him on winning, and he expressed his frustration that there were so many cabinet positions he had to fill,” said Watts. “I’m not saying Trump doesn’t trust his cabinet, but he’d certainly be more at ease if his secretaries of defense, energy, labor, etc. were biologically descended from him.”
Unfortunately for Trump, his daughter Tiffany was uninterested in an administration job, and his son Barron was too young and inexperienced.
“The president attempted to get Barron top-secret security clearance, but the National Security Council put their foot down,” said a White House staffer who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “They insisted Barron at least graduate from middle school before giving him clearance to America’s most top secret information.”
Other White House administration officials have expressed frustration that it’s difficult to be candid about administration conflicts and problems when Trump family members are in the room.
“Ivanka told the staff that she was her own person when she first moved into her White House office,” said an aide requesting anonymity to avoid angering Trump’s children. “But all the gossip and frank conversations we have inevitably make their way to the President. And Jared several times a day walks around with a clipboard taking notes of little things, like how long people are gone for lunch, or if someone gets to work a couple minutes late, or he’ll ask to see our latest text messages and call history to find out if anyone has been leaking to the press. The guy is a total narc. He even brings his clipboard to after-work bar hangouts in case someone makes an offhand joke he thinks is critical of the administration.”
The US Constitution does of course have anti-nepotism stipulations, though Trump has ignored them and Republicans in Congress have not enforced them. Until they do, Trump is apparently free to keep US governance a family affair.
(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.)