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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner criticized for vacationing during government shutdown

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, pictured in November, have been spotted in Florida. (Photo: Brendan SmialowskiAFP/Getty Images)

President Trump has complained about the federal government shutdown spoiling his holiday plans, but the same doesn’t appear to be true for every Trump family member who works for the White House.

Although they both work as senior White House advisers, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, appear to be enjoying a Christmas break at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The Daily Mail published photos of the couple out for a walk on Christmas Day, while the first daughter was also spotted going out for a jog.

While countless people are taking time off from work for the holiday, the couple are facing scrutiny because their government jobs should require them to be working back in D.C. Kushner in particular was reportedly involved in negotiations to resolve the shutdown over funding for Trump’s proposed border wall.

Meanwhile, roughly 400,000 “essential” federal employees — such as Transportation Security Administration agents — are expected to continue their duties, but won’t be paid until the shutdown ends.

It’s possible that, despite their White House status, Ivanka Trump and Kushner are not considered “essential” federal employees, and are therefore free to take time off as they please. But it’s not the first time their travel plans have sparked criticism. Earlier this month, it was revealed that their August jaunt to a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic cost taxpayers $58,000. While the couple paid for their travel costs, taxpayers footed the bill for their security detail.

Vanity Fair‘s Emily Jane Fox reported that the couple did not take a government plane to Florida, although some are still questioning whether or not they — or the security guards tasked with protecting them — will be paid during the shutdown.

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