With Trump's win, Ivanka took a more prominent role than any child of a president ever. And now the person so many people thought would fill the role of first daughter has commented on how Ivanka is doing. In a recent interview, Chelsea Clinton called out Ivanka Trump for her role in her father's administration and explained how she feels about what's happening in America today.
Chelsea spoke with The Guardian's Decca Aitkenhead on a number of topics while doing press for a new children's book she wrote. She Persisted Around The World is a global follow-up to her best-selling feminist book on prominent women in U.S. history. In the interview, Chelsea explored many political topics of the day, but when it came to Ivanka and whether she deserves sympathy for doing whatever her father wants, Chelsea's expression hardened, Aitkenhead wrote. The former first daughter said:
She’s an adult. She can make the choices for herself. I mean, she’s 36. We are responsible for our choices. In 2008 I was really proud to support my mum – but I disagreed with her fundamentally on a few things, particularly her then opposition to equal marriage rights for LGBTQ Americans. I never defended that position, because it wasn’t what I believed was the right thing to do.
Before the campaign and the presidency, Ivanka and Chelsea were friends. Chelsea has tweeted three times to Ivanka, congratulating her for her birthday, her anniversary, and also for #WomenWhoWork in 2014.
According to Aitkenhead, the friendship survived the campaign but not necessarily the Trump presidency. They have been out of touch for "a long time."
Chelsea wouldn't support Ivanka as president after her father either — even though they were once friends. "Well, I didn’t support Sarah Palin when she was the vice president nominee in 2008," Chelsea told The Guardian. "And I hope my son is as much a feminist as my daughter. I think it is more about what we stand for, and how we do it, than the gender of the person there.”
Her criticism extends to the entire adult Trump family, which includes all the Trump children — except for Barron. "They’re adults who’ve made the decision to work in this administration," Chelsea told the paper.
She also was implicitly critical of the Trump children's official roles in the White House. Asked about what she thought of "Trump employing his family," Chelsea said:
I think the president should be able to hire whoever he or she thinks are best qualified. I do not believe that many of the people that he has hired have been qualified to do the jobs. Not only do I want an administration that isn’t venal, corrupt and focused on making life harder for millions of Americans, I also want a competent administration. So for me, the larger question is the collision of cruelty and incompetence and corruption that we see across the administration.
This is not the only time in recent months that Chelsea has criticized her former friend. On a March episode of The Late Show, she told Stephen Colbert that she and Ivanka were at odds on the president's policies. Because she works at the White House, Ivanka is fair game to criticize, Chelsea said.
"I think that anyone who works for the president certainly should expect to be scrutinized for whatever decisions that not only she or he is making, but whatever decisions the White House is making on any given day," Chelsea told Colbert.
In the interview released Saturday, there are no doubts about what Chelsea thinks of Trump's presidency. "I don’t agree with what he’s doing to degrade what it means to be an American," she said of President Trump.
And now she's scrutinizing Ivanka for it, too.