Ivanka: I'm part of 'team Trump' - even when I disagree with him

President's daughter Ivanka felt personally affected by anti-Semitism at violent Charlottesville rally, attacks on her marriage.

David Rosenberg ,

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

Since her father’s election in November 2016, Ivanka Trump has played a special role in the 45th presidency, serving alongside her husband, Jared Kushner, as an Advisor to the President, while also enjoying privileged access to the president as First Daughter.

While Ivanka has, on occasion, stepped into the spotlight as a surrogate for her father – most famously when she sat in for the president during the G-20 Summit in July – the first Orthodox Jewish First Daughter says most of her influence is exerted privately.

Speaking with the Financial Times in an interview publicized on Thursday, Ivanka acknowledged that she and her father do not always see eye to eye politically, but added that her role as a member of her father’s “team” obliged her to express dissent behind closed doors.

“To voice dissent publicly would mean I’m not part of the team,” said Ivanka. “When you’re part of a team, you’re part of a team.”

“That doesn’t mean everyone in the White House has homogeneous views – we don’t, and I think that’s good and healthy – but that doesn’t mean we’re publicly undermining [each other] and this administration."

In stark contrast to the caricature often drawn of the Trump administration as a bastion of the Alt-Right led by an impulsive chief executive, Ivanka said President Trump seeks a wide array of input from those closest to him before deciding on policy.

“I think it benefits the president to be able to hear from people who both agree and disagree with him on any given issue,” said Ivanka. “And then, ultimately, the president makes his own decision.”

While Ivanka has faced criticism from both the left – who decry her involvement in a Trump administration they believe to be irredeemable – and the right – some of whom accuse her of attempting to push the president away from positions he espoused during the campaign, the First Daughter says she is taking it in stride.

“Whether my contribution ultimately lives up to the expectations of some of the harshest critics? Only time will tell. But I will not be distracted by the noise.”

One of the rare occasions where Ivanka stepped out from her role as advisor and spoke publicly – and independently – of the White House came following the deadly Charlottesville rally in August, when neo-Nazi demonstrators clashed with counter-demonstrators.

Verbal attacks by white supremacists in Charlottesville against President Trump condemning him for allowing his daughter to marry Kushner affected Ivanka, and made her feel personally tied to the events of that day, a source close to Ivanka told the Financial Times.

In the days following the rally, Ivanka watched a documentary of the neo-Nazi rally, which included footage of demonstrators decrying Trump for “[giving] his daughter to a Jew”, the source said.

“Seeing those images and hearing [Ivanka’s] name invoked later on obviously made it very personal,” the source told FT.