President Donald Trump‘s daughter and son-in-law having senior roles in the White House may be a promising business model, Yale School of Management’s Jeff Sonnenfeld told CNBC on Monday.
Sonnenfeld, a former professor at Harvard Business School, published an article in Politico Magazine on Saturday describing how Ivanka Trump‘s and Jared Kushner‘s White House roles could be an important asset to the president.
“Sure, family businesses have role conflicts, succession struggles, and sibling rivalries,” he wrote in the magazine. “At the same time, we’ve welcomed multiple Bushes, Roosevelts, and Adamses in the White House without acting out the pathologies of ‘All in the Family.'”
Trump has been met with intense criticism ever since he nominated his son-in-law, Kushner, to a White House role. The appointment sparked questions about conflicts of interest, with some saying it violated the anti-nepotism statute.
Earlier this year, the Justice Department said Trump could hire Kushner as a senior White House advisor without breaking anti-nepotism laws.
The White House confirmed last month that Ivanka Trump, who has advised her father on women’s issues and sat in on meetings with world leaders, would take an unpaid role as a government employee.
“Family enterprises are not necessarily awful things. We’ve seen lots of well-run businesses with family stakes in them,” Sonnenfeld said on “Squawk Box.” “Ford Motor Co. today benefits from having a strong family stake … Campbell Soup, Wal-Mart.”
Sonnenfeld added that the United States has seen a completely “unjustified moral outrage” to Kushner stepping in.
“We have a long history of seeing this special assistance that are people with broad portfolios,” he said. “Henry Hopkins, who was a special assistant to FDR, did everything from … lease programs … the WPA programs.”