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Ivanka Trump shouldn't have to report to chief of staff: Congressman

Rep. Lee Zeldin says the first daughter can bypass newly arrived Gen. John Kelly.
Ivanka Trump Interview
Photo: Getty Images

With a tweet saying she was "looking forward to working alongside" new White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, Ivanka Trump ignited one of the administration's multiple controversies this week, this one about reporting structure and the continuing effect of nepotism in the Oval Office. But one Congressman says the president's daughter shouldn't have to report to Kelly, who served in the U.S. Marines for 45 years.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) said Ivanka bypassing Kelly and reporting directly to her dad was a reasonable idea. “If anyone who is working in the White House, other than the President of the United States, ideally would be reporting to the chief of staff,” Zeldin said on MSNBC on Tuesday. “The chief of staff would be reporting to the President of the United States. I would imagine there are a few different people, obviously Ivanka included, who are going to continue to have conversations and access to the President. That can still work. It’s just really important to have good communication with the chief of staff, because you don’t want things going in two different directions.”

Zeldin said he was “super impressed” with Ivanka's “intellect and class” and her work on advocating for paid family leave. He said he thought she could “in her own right” be a “great United States senator if she wanted to be.”

In terms of the first daughter's qualifications for elective office, Zeldin said she was “super smart and highly capable” and cited her experience in business and “ability to understand our tax code."

Zeldin was asked why none of Ivanka's products were made in the U.S. He responded that she was a "great mother" and a "great wife" and basically a chip off the old block: “She has great education. She has great ideas on important issues that help families, but I would say for anyone who is running for office, the President proved this, there is no one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter way to become President of the United States.”