New book exposes White House officials’ connections to Ivanka Trump’s jewelry empire
The White House has published a new book detailing how the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and other top aides have sought to cultivate ties with luxury fashion companies.
The book, titled Ivanka: The Man Behind the Mask, sheds light on the ties between Trump’s family and the Ivanka Trump brand, which is owned by her husband, President Donald Trump.
The president has a penchant for wearing his own signature white suit, the Ivanka-branded jacket and sunglasses and has long touted his connections to the family business.
But in recent years, Kushner and his advisers have sought connections with more traditional American businesses and have sought ways to capitalize on the President’s celebrity status, a move that has drawn scrutiny from ethics watchdogs.
The new book, which was written by two ethics experts, sheds new light on how Kushner and others have sought and received lucrative government contracts and other perks in return for favors from the Ivanka brand.
“Kushner has been one of Trump’s closest confidantes, and his business dealings have drawn scrutiny,” said John Anzalone, the former deputy ethics czar under President George W. Bush.
“But he also has a long history of using the government’s own resources to help advance his private interests.”
The book is the latest in a string of books written by outside critics of the White House, including former White House ethics lawyer Lisa Bardack, who revealed how the Trump White House engaged in secret deals with a Florida-based pharmaceutical company to win lucrative rebates.
Kushners and other Trump administration officials have been accused of seeking favors and using their position as his children’s advisers to advance their own interests.
Trump and Kushner have denied the allegations.
A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the book is private, defended Kushner’s actions.
“This is a textbook example of a White House that is working to advance the President,” the official said.
“It is a president who has been very generous with his children, and they do work for him.
They are his personal assistants, their primary spokespeople.”
The official also defended Kushner for helping secure a lucrative contract for the Ivanka boutique chain.
The boutique chain, which has been named one of the most profitable retailers in the world by Forbes, was founded in 1999 by Kushner’s brother and daughter.
The company was valued at more than $500 million at the time of the deal.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, has been a longtime advocate for the family-owned brand.
Ivanka, who is also married to Kushner, has said she was unaware of the lucrative contract and that the boutique chain had been valued at “millions.”
“We had no knowledge of the arrangement at all, which I do understand was a very, very good deal,” Ivanka Trump said at a news conference in June.
The Ivanka Trump boutique chain is one of several brands Ivanka Trump is working with to expand the brand and promote her father’s administration.
The Ivanka Trump name has also appeared on merchandise and clothing that the family is selling on Ivanka Trump Inc. merchandise websites.
The clothing and jewelry line is part of a $1 billion deal between the Trump Organization and a Swedish jewelry retailer called Diamonds International, a joint venture between Ivanka Trump and the Swedish company.
Ivanka Trump has also worked with the White and American embassies in Egypt, Mexico and the Philippines to promote her brand, including on a trip to Egypt in November.
The New York Times first reported the existence of the book.
Kashner is known for his philanthropy, and it was disclosed in the book that he received a $10 million gift from his father’s charity in 2018.
He also has been the subject of scrutiny from watchdog groups over his family’s business dealings.
Critics have noted that Ivanka Trump owns and operates a private business that was the subject, among other things, of a federal investigation that resulted in a conviction.
The Trump administration has previously defended Kushner by arguing that his actions were “properly managed” and that he was merely acting in his role as a private citizen and not as a member of the administration.