Senator urges review of Ivanka Trump’s security clearance
A Democratic senator on Friday called for a review of first daughter Ivanka Trump’s security clearance, citing concerns she may have violated conflict of interest laws.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Newsweek that Trump’s involvement with the World Bank’s new Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative could potentially violate conflict of interest laws due to her ownership of the Ivanka Trump fashion brand.
“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,” Cardin said. “What is not allowed is for anyone to profit off holding a public position.”
Cardin called for a “full disclosure” of Trump’s financial dealings and a review of her security clearance.
“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.”
Cardin’s comments to Newsweek follow a letter the Maryland Democrat sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week questioning Ivanka Trump’s involvement in the World Bank initiative.
President Trump committed $50 million to the Ivanka Trump-led initiative in July, which will provide loans, mentoring and access to the financial markets for women-led start-ups, particularly in developing countries.
“The critical investments we’re announcing today will help advance the economic empowerment of women around the world,” President Trump said in July. “Empowering women is a core value that binds us together.”
Cardin says Ivanka Trump should separate herself entirely from the project.
“It’s not appropriate for Ivanka Trump to serve as a public advocate for the #WeFi initiative,” Cardin tweeted on Monday.
In the letter to Treasury, Cardin told Mnuchin that Trump would pose “problematic” issues for the project if she is involved.
“In particular, any possible involvement by Ivanka Trump, Special Assistant to the President, would pose unique and potentially problematic conflicts for the fund,” he wrote. “As long as Ms. Trump continues to benefit financially from a brand that bears her name, her involvement with WeFi creates the potential for conflicts of interest that could stand in the way of achieving the fund’s goals.”