Did Family Members of Trump and His Team Cash In on Their Connections?

A viral meme is largely correct on one point but misleading on two others.

A viral post from popular left-wing Facebook account The Other 98% claims that various family members of individuals in former-President Donald Trump’s orbit received lucrative government positions.

Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew, did indeed work in the White House’s Office of Public Liaison, where he reportedly coordinated visits and events with sports teams and athletes. His initial salary for these duties in 2017 was $77,000, though he received a raise in 2018, seeing his salary increase to $90,700. By 2019, Andrew Giuliani had a salary of $95,000. Assuming he received the same amount of pay in the final year of the Trump administration, Giuliani would have been paid a total of $357,700 over the course of four years.

The post’s other claims, however, are less clear-cut. The claim about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump is ambiguous. Each had a high-profile job as an adviser in the White House, but neither took a salary for their White House work, as some might think after seeing the post. However, some critics have argued that they stood to benefit financially from their positions given their continued outside business interests. Kushner, for example, had a stake in 666 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, which saw a number of potential foreign investors during the Trump administration. Ivanka Trump had trademarks for her fashion line fast tracked in China after her father was elected president, though she later closed the line in 2018. 

Bill Barr’s daughter, Mary Daly, did work for the Treasury Department, but she started in this role shortly before Barr was confirmed as attorney general. She and her husband, Tyler McGaughey, had both worked in the Department of Justice before Barr began his tenure. Daly, a former federal prosecutor who had handled many drug cases during her 13-year tenure, had worked as the director of Opioid Enforcement and Prevention Efforts in the deputy attorney general’s office until she moved to the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit, and McGaughey moved from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to work in the White House. There was some suggestion that the moves were made to avoid any conflict of interest once Barr became attorney general.

While The Other 98%’s post is largely correct about Andrew Giuliani’s role in the Trump administration, its claim about Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump is potentially misleading and it left out important context surrounding Mary Daly’s position in the Treasury Department. 

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