White House to share financial info on top staff

Last Updated Mar 31, 2017 6:01 PM EDT

The White House was poised Friday to publicly release on its website the financial disclosure forms of 180 administration officials as part of an information release for employees earning over $161,000.

Ivanka Trump’s finances will not be among them, senior administration officials said, noting that the disclosure forms would be available later tonight. President Trump’s daughter agreed to serve as an unpaid government employee just this week, triggering the need for her to file financial disclosures. 

Her husband, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, filed one form earlier this month but may have additional information to disclose. Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, former Goldman Sachs (GS) president Gary Cohn, must also file a disclosure form.  

The administration said last week that it planned to release the information as part of a “commitment to ensure an ethical and transparent government.”

Members of the public will not be able to retrieve financial information directly from the White House site. Rather, they must file a so-called 201 form requesting a staffer’s disclosure information, with the form delivered by email. 

On a call with reporters, senior administration officials emphasized that the disclosure process had been complicated by White House officials’ “incredibly successful” careers outside of politics. Those who have joined the administration include Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon (XOM); Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a noted distressed debt investor worth an estimated $2.5 billion; and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an heir to the Amway fortune.

The offcials did not say if it would make available a list of the 180 officials whose financial details are being released. They also noted that the documents being released later Friday were filled out when members of the administration started their jobs and do not necessarily reflect their most current financial assets. 

Business people who take government jobs are required to clear themselves of potential conflicts of interest, including selling off assets and resigning from leadership roles. 

Financial information for members of President Trump’s cabinet, who needed Senate confirmation, has mostly been available for weeks through the Office of Government Ethics.

Ahead of the documents release, White House press secretary Sean Spicer described the business people who have joined the administration as “very blessed and very successful,” and said the disclosure forms will show that they have set aside “a lot” to go into public service.

The president must also file periodic financial disclosures, but he is not required to make another disclosure until next year.