Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that he thought President-elect Donald Trump would need a “waiver” in order to employ his son-in-law to work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Gingrich, an executive committee vice chairman on Trump’s transition team, told “Fox and Friends” that Jared Kushner, a close adviser to Trump who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, “is one of the smartest people I know.” But Gingrich said he wasn’t sure Kushner could legally work for Trump.
“He’s obviously extraordinarily close to the President-elect. That would be interesting,” Gingrich replied when asked by Fox’s Steve Doocey about Trump telling the New York Times that he had considered making Kushner a special envoy charged with brokering peace in the Middle East.
“I think they would have to get a waiver to the anti-nepotism law. That might be a little tricky, although I think if they worked at it, they could do it,” Gingrich continued. “Certainly I would favor Jared Kushner’s intelligence and skills being put to good use in the United States wherever he would feel committed to invest his time and his life.”
Federal anti-nepotism laws guard against public officials employing family members—including in-laws—in positions at government agencies. Though, as Politico noted recently, past precedent including Hillary Clinton’s work on healthcare reform as first lady provide room for debate over the extent of Kushner’s possible involvement in a Trump administration.