President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, both senior White House advisers, appear to be enjoying their Christmas break at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida during the federal government shutdown.
The Daily Mail published photos of the couple out for a stroll on Christmas Day, while the first daughter was also spotted going out for a jog. They were accompanied by a Secret Service agent in shades.
Hard to imagine the top advisors to any other president going on vacation during a government shutdown. https://t.co/TPMQ5Puhr2
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) December 26, 2018
The partial government shutdown entered day five on Wednesday, with no signs of a resolution on the horizon. Roughly 400,000 “essential” federal employees — such as Transportation Security Administration agents — are expected to continue their duties, but won’t be paid until the shutdown ends.
The couple are facing intense scrutiny because, as Yahoo notes, “their government jobs should require them to be working back in D.C. Kushner, in particular, was reportedly involved in negotiations to resolve the shutdown over funding for Trump’s proposed border wall”
Trump warned lawmakers on Tuesday that he would not back down from his demand for funding for a border wall.
The first lady initially flew to Mar-a-Lago for the family’s traditional holiday celebration at the Palm Beach, Florida, resort, but returned to Washington so she could “spend ‘Christmas together” with her husband, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
I am a bit confused because last week, the White House said Jared was critical to the negotiations when he was on the Hill with Pence and Mulvaney.
Now he’s in Florida https://t.co/4sp1zDOdnU
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 26, 2018
This says it all! Ivanka Trump, “Senior Advisor” to the President, enjoys a vacation while thousands of federal workers are without a paycheck!
— Doreen Mocha (@londonlady85) December 26, 2018
It’s possible that, despite their White House status, Ivanka Trump and Kushner are not considered “essential” federal employees, and are therefore free to take time off as they please. But it’s not the first time their travel plans have sparked criticism. Earlier this month, it was revealed that their August jaunt to a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic cost taxpayers $58,000. While the couple paid for their travel costs, taxpayers footed the bill for their security detail.
Vanity Fair‘s Emily Jane Fox reported that the couple did not take a government plane to Florida, although some are still questioning whether or not they — or the security guards tasked with protecting them — will be paid during the shutdown.