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Are the unique roles played by Trump's family in the White House anything new?

The first family's prominent roles
The Trump family's prominent roles in the White House 02:45

President Trump's oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, is getting comfortable in the West Wing, joining her husband, Jared Kushner. She recently began working in an unprecedented role as assistant to the president and Kushner is a senior adviser.

With their formal roles in the West Wing, the leader of the free world is sending a clear message that he prefers to keep it all in the family. But he's not the first president to lean on his family, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.

According to a historian, dozens of White House children and their spouses have held prominent roles in the White House.

 "I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well as it is quite new to me," Ivanka said at the G20 women's summit in Germany. 

New, but not really unfamiliar. On the campaign trail, the entire family supported Donald Trump. Now, as sons Don, Jr. and Eric run the private business, daughter Ivanka and her husband are taking on public service and both have met with a several foreign dignitaries. 

Kushner even visited Iraq before the secretary of state or national security adviser. 

"His son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior adviser, is arguably the most powerful person in the White House with a huge portfolio," said Philip Rucker, White House bureau chief for the Washington Post. 

Just 102 days in, Kushner has been tasked with criminal justice reform, tackling the opioid crisis, Middle East diplomacy and cybersecurity. The unique familial power is having an impact on the West Wing.

"It can be very dangerous for other advisers to fight with them," Rucker said. "We saw that a few weeks ago where Steve Bannon, the chief strategist, got into a real ideological debate with Jared Kushner and it did not end that well for Steve Bannon."

When asked whether these new pivotal roles taken on by Mr. Trump's family are surprising, historian and author Doug Wead said, "No. It is not surprising. It happens over and over and over throughout history. Presidents eventually come to lean on the people who are the most loyal. It ceases to become competence and quickly becomes who can I trust?"  

Ivanka Trump on business conflicts, Jared Kushner's W.H. role 05:20

Ivanka has said she gives her honest opinion even when it may be hard to hear.

"I speak up frequently. And my father agrees with me on so many issues. And where he doesn't, he knows where I stand," Ivanka said in her interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King.

First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron haven't moved to D.C. full time yet. That's expected to happen this summer. The only time the White House has been completely devoid of a presidential spouse was more than 150 years ago during James Buchanan's presidency, and that's because he wasn't married.

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