WASHINGTON ―Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and White House adviser, plans to start a fund to help female entrepreneurs worldwide, using money from private-sector donors and foreign governments.
According to Axios, the first to report the first daughter’s plan, the fund will be run by the World Bank. “Canadians, Germans and a few Middle Eastern countries have already made quiet commitments, as have several corporations,” Axios previously reported. The fund will provide “working and growth capital to small- and medium-sized enterprises.”
Details are scarce. It’s unclear whether Ivanka Trump will personally raise money from foreign governments and private corporations, or whether the White House counsel has considered whether her involvement conforms to ethics rules.
Nevertheless, the Ivanka Trump-World Bank fund sounds like it will mimic the work of a private organization that got a lot of (bad) publicity in 2016: the Clinton Foundation.
The Clinton Foundation, which former President Bill Clinton launched after he left the White House in 2001, is a nonprofit that runs developmental programs and facilitates private-sector investment in such public initiatives as fighting HIV/AIDS, combating climate change, reducing the impact of preventable disease, and empowering entrepreneurs ― including women and girls. The Clinton Foundation is funded largely by contributions from wealthy donors, corporations and foreign governments.
The foundation was seen as a major conflict of interest for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whose critics claimed her decisions as secretary of state benefitted foundation donors.
Donald Trump, during the campaign, called the Clinton Foundation “the most corrupt enterprise in political history.” He attacked Clinton as “the defender of the corrupt and rigged status quo” who spent her time “taking care of donors instead of the American people.”
A Trump campaign ad assailed the “staggering amounts of cash pouring into the Clinton Foundation from criminals, dictators, countries that hate America.” Those supposed America-hating countries included the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia ― formidable U.S. allies in the Middle East whose citizens contribute to other charitable funds connected to powerful Americans.
Ivanka Trump’s fund also sounds like an effort from the investment bank Goldman Sachs called 10,000 Women, which provides business education to women around the world to spur entrepreneurship. Dina Powell, an Ivanka Trump confidante who now works for the White House, headed the Goldman Sachs effort since it began in 2008. (Ivanka Trump’s chief of staff is Julie Radford, who previously ran Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business initiative, which invested in small U.S. businesses.)
Donald Trump also attacked Clinton during the campaign for her ties to Goldman Sachs, including a $225,000 speech she gave to bank employees after she resigned as secretary of state. Trump’s administration now includes at least six former Goldman Sachs executives.
According to Axios, the president “is a huge supporter of his daughter’s idea.”
UPDATE: 5:20 p.m. ― The White House said Ivanka Trump will have no major role in the fund, according to The Washington Post.