This week, President Donald Trump presided over the second Easter egg roll of his presidency, marking the springtime holiday with typical aplomb. But one prominent, typically highly visible face was absent from the festivities, and based on recent reporting, it could either be seen as an innocuous absence, or an indication of things to come. Specifically, Ivanka Trump skipped out on the Easter egg roll this year, and there are a number of ways you could look at it.
According to a report from The Mercury News on Wednesday, the pair both missed out on the White House Easter event, and the Easter celebration at the president's Mar-a-Lago estate in South Florida. To be clear, they have a perfectly valid and understandable excuse for skipping out on these proceedings ― they reportedly spent the weekend in Saratoga, Wyoming instead, at a get-together with the Kushner clan. This also isn't a first-time thing, as they were reportedly absent during last year's Easter festivities.
There's probably no shortage of people who'd rather take a get-away vacation from working in government, rather than hang around the White House with the Easter bunny. Also, both Jared and Ivanka are Jewish, and Easter (even though it's been heavily commercialized) is a Christian holiday.
But nonetheless, recent reports on Jared and Ivanka ― once seen as Washington, D.C.'s preeminent power couple, with unbridled access to Trump ― have cast some doubts on the idea that they'll be staying in the White House long term. In fact, they've made it seem as if both the president and his daughter and son-in-law might like to see a bit less of each other. Of course, this hasn't been confirmed.
Last month, The New York Times reported that Trump has privately voiced frustration with Jared and Ivanka, and has suggested that the couple never should have joined the administration and would be better off leaving. At the same, however, the report also claims that Trump has told Ivanka and Kushner, in person, that they should stay. In particular, the president was reportedly annoyed over the ongoing legal and ethical scrutiny being directed at Kushner, which is happening at the same time as Trump himself is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
When Ivanka initially entered the administration, she was touted by political analysts and media reports as a possible moderating influence on her father's policies and ideas, many of which have been hyper-inflammatory. Within months, however, she reportedly sought to downplay her own influence within the executive branch, amid controversial decisions like her father pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord, or moving to ban transgender soldiers from serving in the U.S. military.
There have also been highly personal stories about the president swirling in the press in recent weeks that could easily strain any family dynamic, let alone when they're playing out in the public eye. Specifically, Trump has been embroiled in personal scandal lately, with two women ― adult film star Stormy Daniels and former model Karen McDougal ― alleging he engaged in extramarital affairs with them prior to becoming president.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said that the president denies the allegations, and his lawyers are currently fighting in court to uphold a nondisclosure agreement with Daniels. Even in this context, Ivanka has not escaped the media glare; in nationally televised interviews, both Daniels and McDougal claimed that Trump compared them to her, citing their intelligence and beauty.
In short, given that Ivanka and Jared are both massively wealthy, have already been working in government for months on end, and have seemingly gotten a lot of headaches as a result, it would be easy to imagine them making a retreat from public life.
Of course, whether that actually happens remains to be seen; it's totally possible that Ivanka will remain a White House official, and close confidant of her father's, for the remainder of his presidency. But considering the Trump administration's already record-setting level of turnover, a departure would hardly be surprising, either.