President Joe Biden has vowed to steer clear of his predecessor’s notorious penchant for entrenching family members in government affairs.
“We’re going to run this like the Obama-Biden administration,” Biden told People on Wednesday in his first interview since his inauguration. “No one in our family and extended family is going to be involved in any government undertaking or foreign policy. And nobody has an office in this place.”
The pledge is part of Biden’s effort to define his presidency as a return to normalcy after four years of President Donald Trump, who appointed his eldest daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner to senior positions in the White House.
The couple were heavily involved in Trump’s domestic and foreign affairs despite their lack of experience in politics plus their blatant conflicts of interest with their business dealings. Additionally, a White House whistleblower told Congress that Ivanka and Kushner had been denied top security clearances before Trump overruled senior staffers and approved the clearances anyway.
At the same time, Trump and his allies in the right-wing media fixated on Biden’s son, Hunter, and peddled unproven conspiracy theories that Biden had used his position as vice president to shield Hunter from criminal investigations in Ukraine. Trump’s desperate efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation into Hunter eventually led to his first impeachment.