The First Daughter has disputed criticisms levelled at her suggesting she is 'complicit' in her father's right-wing agenda
While the First Lady Melania Trump has shown a pretty conservative role in her husband’s presidency since his inauguration on 20th January (though we’ve found the couple’s body language pretty fascinating to watch), the First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner have both been given high profile official roles in Donald Trump’s White House.
Kushner became one of the earliest appointees to Trump’s staff when he was made senior advisor, but his wife Ivanka’s official role was only announced at the end of March, when she was given her own office in the White House and the deceptively lowly title of ‘assistant to the President.’
But even before Ivanka’s position was crystallized the First Daughter was already sitting in on high-profile meetings with visiting heads of state (including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau) and using the presidential platform to push her supposedly pro-women agenda, while her father’s administration got busy turning back the clock on women’s rights by cutting life-saving funding for reproductive care (to give just one example).
Ivanka’s blind-eye-turning on a range of anti-women legislation being pushed by the Trump administration has even made her the butt of this Saturday Night Live sketch starring Scarlett Johansson, a mock advert for a perfume called ‘Complicit’:
But now Ivanka has hit back at suggestions of complicity in her father’s presidency.
In a new interview with CBS’s Gayle King, Ivanka said, ‘If being complicit is wanting to, is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact then I’m complicit. I don’t know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any differently than I am doing. So I hope to make a positive impact. I don’t know what it means to be complicit, but you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly that my father’s administration is the success that I know it will be.’
King also probed Ivanka on her silence over Planned Parenthood cuts. ‘I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. In some cases it’s through protest and it’s through going on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue in which you disagree with. Other times it is quietly, and directly, and candidly. So where I disagree with my father, he knows it, and I express myself with total candor. Where I agree, I fully lean in and support the agenda and hope that I can be an asset to him and make a positive impact. But I respect the fact that he always listens. It’s how he was in business. It’s how he is as president.’
So though we don’t hear about it, Ivanka argued, she does apply pressure behind the scenes on issues she doesn’t agree with.
Whatever you make of her response, it’s clear the First Daughter has an unprecedented level of access to her father’s White House, the same father who vowed to ‘drain the swamp’ on his campaign trail. Clearly this ‘swap-draining’ mission doesn’t stretch to rampant nepotism.