President Donald Trump contradicted a Fox News report Monday that triggered an uproar that Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner would be on his new coronavirus economic task force, which he called “Opening the Country Council.”
Asked at his press briefing if the two White House senior advisers would be on the council, he responded, “No, they’re not.”
The makeup of the council will be revealed Tuesday, Trump said. But he also said there will be advisory committees in addition to the council, leaving open the possibility that his daughter and son-in-law could serve on one of them.
“We have a number of committees,” Trump added at the briefing, which was more unleashed than usual.
“We’ll have a transportation committee. We’re going to have a manufacturing committee. You’ll see it tomorrow. We’re also having a religious leaders committee .... You’ve been seeing what’s going on in the churches and all of that. And we’re going to have a faith leaders committee,” he said.
“I’ll call them committees,” Trump added. “Ultimately, we’re going to make decisions. We are going to make decisions fairly quickly, and I think they’re going to be the correct decision. I hope so.”
Trump has indicated he wants to return to business as usual as quickly as possible, though health experts and governors have urged caution amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the nation.
Fox also reported that new acting White House chief of staff Mark Meadows would chair the new task force. Other members would include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Critics erupted on Twitter after the Fox report earlier in the day. Many complained about the first daughter and her husband, but the rest of the panel also failed to inspire confidence.
One snide observer noted sarcastically: “Relax guys, we’re in good hands.”