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Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is named a White House senior advisor

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, is shown with wife Ivanka, left, and sister-in-law Tiffany Trump at the Hilton Midtown in New York. (Getty Images)
Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump, is shown with wife Ivanka, left, and sister-in-law Tiffany Trump at the Hilton Midtown in New York. (Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump appointed his influential son-in-law Jared Kushner as a White House senior advisor Monday, putting the young real estate executive in a position to exert broad sway over both domestic and foreign policy, particularly Middle East issues and trade negotiations.

Trump has come to rely heavily on Kushner, who is married to the president-elect's daughter Ivanka. Since the election, the political novice has been one of the transition team's main liaisons to foreign governments, communicating with Israeli officials and meeting Sunday with Britain's foreign minister. He's also huddled with congressional leaders and helped interview Cabinet candidates.

Ivanka Trump, who also played a significant role advising her father during the presidential campaign, will not be taking a formal White House position. Transition officials said the mother of three young children wanted to focus on moving her family from New York to Washington.

Kushner's eligibility for the White House could be challenged, given a 1967 law meant to bar government officials from hiring relatives. Kushner lawyer Jamie Gorelick argued Monday that the law does not apply to the West Wing. She cited a later congressional measure to allow the president "unfettered" and "sweeping" authority in hiring staff.

In a statement, Trump said Kushner will be an "invaluable member of my team as I set and execute an ambitious agenda."

Kushner will resign as CEO of his family's real estate company and as publisher of the New York Observer. He will also divest "substantial assets," Gorelick said. The lawyer said Kushner would not be taking a salary. Ivanka Trump will also be leaving her executive roles at the Trump Organization — her father's real estate company — and her own fashion brands.

Kushner, who turns 36 Tuesday, emerged as one of Trump's most powerful campaign advisors during his father-in-law's often unorthodox presidential bid — a calming presence in an otherwise chaotic campaign. Soft-spoken and press-shy, he was deeply involved in the campaign's digital efforts and was usually at Trump's side during the election's closing weeks.

He has continued to be a commanding presence during the transition, working alongside incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior advisor Steve Bannon. He's played a key role in coordinating Trump's contacts with foreign leaders and has been talking with foreign government officials himself, according to a person with knowledge of the conversations.

Read The Times' profile of Jared Kushner, the Trump son-in-law who's the next president's 'eyes and ears' >>

UPDATES:

4:42 p.m.: This article was updated with confirmation of Jared Kushner's appointment.

11:20 a.m.: This article was updated with background on Jared Kushner and his transition role.

This article was originally published at 10:41 a.m.

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