‘Nobody has an office’: Biden vows no family member will serve in White House in apparent dig at Ivanka

'They always have access to Pop and Nana but nobody (will have an office),' Mr Biden says

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Saturday 06 February 2021 09:52

Melania Trump shares farewell address before leaving White House

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Joe Biden has reaffirmed his commitment that none of his family members will receive a role in his administration, while making an apparent dig at former First Daughter Ivanka Trump.

This commitment came when the president and First Lady Jill Biden gave their first interview with People Magazine after moving into the White House last month.

Mr Biden said he intends to "run" his administration "like the Obama-Biden administration", referring to his time as vice president for President Barack Obama between 2008 and 2016.

But his office would be different to the Trump administration because "no one in our family and extended family is going to be involved in any government undertaking or foreign policy," Mr Biden said.

"And nobody has an office in the place," he added. "They always have access to Pop and Nana but nobody (will have an office)."

His statement followed Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, telling reporters last week that the administration would not allow businesses to imply they had the president's endorsement when advertising – highlighting another difference between the Biden and Trump administrations.

Read more: Live updates from the Biden administration

Donald Trump defied norms with how integrated members of his family into his administration.

His daughter Ivanka Trump served as a "adviser to the president" with emphasis on the "education and economic empowerment of women and their families," according to the White House website. This despite Ms Trump having no government experience prior to her father winning the presidency.

The advisory role resulted in Ms Trump having her own staff and office in the West Wing of the White House, which officials previously compared to as "walking into an Apple store".

Prior to the 2016 election, Ms Trump solidified a role among New York's high society. She created her own clothing and shoe line, which shut down in 2018 following ethics complaints and accusations of conflicts of interest due to her role in the White House.

Mr Trump moved into the White House in January 2017, and his eldest daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, soon followed by purchasing a home in Washington DC.

The former president quickly brought in Mr Kushner as another trusted senior adviser in his administration. Mr Kushner, who also had an office in the White House, would go on to lead the Trump administration's response to Covid-19 and key foreign policy initiatives.

These roles within the White House for two of Mr Trump's family members raised eyebrows, but the president reportedly wanted his eldest daughter in an even higher role within the administration.

Former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates revealed that Mr Trump allegedly wanted his daughter as his vice president running mate prior to selecting Mike Pence, according to his book Wicked Game: An Insider's Story On How Trump Won, Mueller Failed, And America Lost.

This move was ultimately shot down by Ms Trump, according to Mr Gates.

The Trump presidency ended with just one term, but now members of the family, including Ms Trump, might have set their sights on continuing their legacy in politics. Daughter-in-law Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump, was reportedly contemplating a Senate run in North Carolina while son Donald Jr Trump was also eying his own potential politics run.

Ms Trump could also make a reappearance in politics by running for office in Florida.

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