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Jared Kushner, son-in-law of of President-elect Donald Trump walks from Trump Tower, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in New York. As Trump and President Barack Obama met privately at the White House, Kushner, strolled the mansion's South Lawn, deep in conversation with Obama's chief of staff. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner named senior advisor


President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been named a senior advisor to the President in Trump's administration, the transition team announced.

Kushner is Ivanka Trump's husband, a prominent New York real estate investor and the owner of Observer Media.  He played a prominent role in the transition. At one point he was reported to be at the center of "infighting" as Vice President-elect Mike Pence replaced former transition head Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. 

Despite not having an official role in the campaign Kushner played a major role behind the scenes.

“Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted advisor throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration,” Trump said in a statement. “He has been incredibly successful, in both business and now politics. He will be an invaluable member of my team as I set and execute an ambitious agenda, putting the American people first.”

The appointment raised flags with observers concerned over nepotism.

Attorneys pointed out that Kushner legally qualified as a relative of Trump.

The nepotism question

Federal guidelines forbid employees from hiring family members. However, Kushner's legal representatives have argued that the White House is not technically a federal agency, The New York Times reports.

Professor Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics attorney for President George W. Bush and a former Hillary Clinton supporter believes that this could be legal.

"This is just a question which reasonable people are going to disagree about the interpretation of the statute. I understand that Kushner's lawyers and the Trump transition team people are putting forth what I would call some very credible arguments, even if I don't necessarily agree with those arguments," Painter told Circa.

I would not go so far as to say that it's unethical or something like that for the president-elect to interpret the statute the way he is,
Richard Painter

What are the arguments being made? 

"There is one argument that the White House is not covered by the statute at all," according to Painter. "The other argument is that even if the White House is covered that the president can make whatever appointments he wants in the White House and if it covered the White House it would just cover a senior advisor in the White House getting his son an internship."

Painter never dealt with this issue at the White House so Trump could still be challenged on the Kushner appointment.

Kushner Companies has set a record in the U.S. by paying 1.8 billion dollars for the skyscraper, center, at 666 Fifth Avenue, shown next to St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York, Thursday Dec. 7, 2006. Another day, another New York City real estate record. This time, a Fifth Avenue skyscraper is shredding previous records for prices paid for a single office building anywhere in the country. (AP Photos/Bebeto Matthews)

Kushner was spotted with a Chinese business tycoon after the election, talking business over $2,100 bottles of wine. Kushner Companies has acquired at least 120 properties in New York and New Jersey, according to Real Capital Analytics.

FILE- In this Oct. 14, 2015, file photo, Ivanka Trump, daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, founder and CEO, Ivanka Trump Collection and executive vice president Development and Acquisitions The Trump Organization, speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington. Ivanka Trump-brand scarves are being recalled because they are too flammable and pose a "burn risk" to consumers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday, April 6, 2016, that no injuries have been reported. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Trump is expected to make clear during his press conference on Wednesday that Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump, will not be running Trump's businesses, CNN reports.

Forbes reported earlier Monday that Kushner was stepping down from his role at Kushner Companies. 

He has also been reportedly meeting with China's Anbang Insurance Group regarding selling some of his assets, including the pricey property at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City. 

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