Ivanka Trump to skip promotional book tour to avoid a conflict of interest

Ivanka Trump, seeking to avoid conflicts of interest, will forgo a promotional tour for her upcoming book and put the proceeds in a charitable fund.

The charity will make grants of $ 132,000 each to the National Urban League and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the first daughter said in a statement Thursday. Trump said she won’t make appearances on behalf of the work, “out of an abundance of caution and to avoid the appearance of using my official role to promote the book.”

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The issue of how to handle the book has become thornier since her father Donald Trump was elected president in November. She is now an official, unpaid federal employee, a role she took after Democratic lawmakers said in March that her previously unspecified position raised questions about how she’d avoid conflicts.

“In light of government ethics rules, I want to be clear that this book is a personal project,” Ivanka Trump said. “I wrote it at a different time in my life, from the perspective of an executive and an entrepreneur, and the manuscript was completed before the election last November.”

The Ivanka M. Trump Charitable Fund is donor-advised, with Ivanka Trump serving as the grant adviser and sole member of IT WWW Pub LLC, the organisation that receives royalties from the book sales. That entity will contribute a minimum $ 563,000 to the fund, which is the unpaid portion of the advance, net of expenses. It will contribute all future royalties that are in excess of the advance to the fund during the period from May 1, 2017, to May 1, 2022, according to the statement.

The grant to the National Urban League will launch a new women’s initiative as part of its Entrepreneurship Centre Program, which operates in 13 locations around the US. The donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America will help fund the organisation’s national science, technology, engineering and math program for girls and under-represented youth, according to the statement.

Ivanka Trump’s manuscript of the book, “Women Who Work,” was completed in October. Since then, she has cut ties with her branding company, which sells apparel, footwear and other goods.

There’s some precedent for Ivanka Trump’s plan, according to ethics expert Stan Brand of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. First ladies, including Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush, have donated royalties from their books to charity. President Barack Obama did the same when a children’s book he wrote was published during his first term.

“This is a new situation so far as her relationship and her status,” Brand said of Trump, who is subject to federal ethics rules. “But I don’t see anything that jumps out at me as problematic.”

Bloomberg

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