White House Officials Discuss Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Departing by 2018: Report

The first daughter and president's son-in-law may soon leave the West Wing, conversations White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has reportedly had with the president's advisers suggest. Reuters

Donald Trump's White House may no longer be a family-run business in the years ahead, if Chief of Staff John Kelly’s conversations with the president’s advisers reflect a possible foreshadowing of departures among the first family.

The former secretary of homeland security—now tasked with heading Trump’s day-to-day operations in the West Wing—has discussed the possibility of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump bowing out of the administration by 2018, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman, Peter Baker and Sharon LaFraniere reported Saturday. The developments follow similar reports indicating Trump himself has questioned whether the first daughter and her husband should remain in the White House amid negative press surrounding their involvement in his administration.

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Kelly has reportedly told his associates "Kushner works for me," after severely limiting the various responsibilities the president’s son-in-law first took on after Trump’s inauguration, from overhauling the American criminal justice system to creating peace in the Middle East.

RTX3CVW1 Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner arriving at a joint news conference by U.S. President Donald Trump and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the White House in Washington, July 25, 2017. Reuters

The Times included Kelly’s flat denial of the account in its report, noting the chief of staff said "There was honestly never a time when I contemplated getting rid of Jared and Ivanka" in a Friday interview.

Kushner's role has been largely reduced to his focus on the prospect of establishing peaceful diplomacy between Israel and Palestine, of which Trump has maintained his support.

"Jared is working very hard on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and the last thing I would ever do is get in the way of that possibility," the president added in an email to the paper he’s repeatedly described as "fake news" and "failing." "Jared has been very effective since the earliest days of the campaign and the same is true today. He understood the movement then and has been helpful implementing the agenda the American people voted for since."

Despite the White House refuting such conversations ever took place, other accounts indicate the topic of Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s departure has been brought up by the president himself.

Trump reportedly told the first daughter she was getting slammed by negative media attention thanks to her role in the White House, suggesting she should return to New York to live her life as a private citizen.

"Baby you're getting killed," the president told his daughter, according to a Politico report published last month. "This is a bad deal."

Meanwhile, Trump has maintained his defense and support for Ivanka, who has stirred controversy over her involvement in a number of women’s issues in government while continuing to profit off a women’s fashion company.

"I don't question Ivanka Trump’s sincerity to advance a cause she feels deeply about while making money—that's great, that's America," Sen. Ben Cardin (D—MD) told Newsweek Oct. 20, after calling to remove the first daughter from her role in the World Bank's new Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. "What is not allowed is for anyone to profit off holding a public position. We should have full disclosure of all her financial interests, and when you don’t have that, it raises serious questions. Does that involve her security clearance? Absolutely."

Other lawmakers, including Congressman Ted Lieu (D—CA) have also called to have Ivanka Trump's security clearance reviewed and possibly revoked, along with Kushner.

Still, those close to Trump and the White House maintain the couple is staying put in Washington to continue advancing the president’s agenda.

"Jared’s role working for President Trump is just as important as it was Day 1, only now he doesn’t have to worry about babysitting others," said Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign adviser. "His focus was always supposed to be the president’s big-picture, long-term projects, and now Jared can work on those uninterrupted."