President-elect Donald Trump appointed his influential son-in-law Jared Kushner as a White House senior adviser Monday, putting the young real estate executive in position to exert broad sway over both domestic and foreign policy, particularly Middle East issues and trade negotiations. Trump has come to rely heavily on Kushner, who is married to the president-elect's daughter Ivanka. Since the election, the political novice has been one of the transition team's main liaisons to foreign governments, communicating with Israeli officials and meeting Sunday with Britain's foreign minister. He's also huddled with congressional leaders and helped interview Cabinet candidates. In a statement, Trump said Kushner will be an "invaluable member of my team as I set and execute an ambitious agenda," the AP reports.
Ivanka Trump, who also played a significant role advising her father during the presidential campaign, will not be taking a formal White House position. Transition officials said the mother of three young children wanted to focus on moving her family from New York to Washington. Kushner's own eligibility for the White House could be challenged, given a 1967 law meant to bar government officials from hiring relatives. Kushner lawyer Jamie Gorelick argued Monday that the law does not apply to the West Wing. She cited a later congressional measure to allow the president "unfettered" and "sweeping" authority in hiring staff. Kushner will resign as CEO of his family's real estate company and as publisher of the New York Observer. He will also divest "substantial assets," Gorelick said. The lawyer said Kushner would not be taking a salary.