When Ivanka Trump was given a formal White House position in March, questions arose regarding exactly what her new role would entail. Now, in an exclusive interview with the Washington Post, the first daughter turned assistant to the president has brushed aside claims she's supposed to exert influence over her father's policies or reign in his impulsive behavior. Rather Ivanka said her role in the White House revolves more around informing her father than trying to persuade him.
"A lot of the way people try to get things done, or sell things in Washington, is they present facts that align with the outcome that they want the other person to come to," Ivanka told the Washington Post in an exclusive extended interview published on July 1. "In business it's the same — they tell you the good facts about a company, not the bad facts. I don't do that. I have never done that."
While Ivanka reportedly waits to give Trump her opinion on an issue only after being asked multiple times, she said she doesn't do so with an ulterior motive. "My father trusts me to be an honest broker," Ivanka said. "I don't have a hidden agenda. I have a very clear agenda. He knows exactly where I stand and I express why I care. There's no secrecy about it."
When it comes to expressing her opinion, Ivanka reportedly signaled a preference for presenting her father with a reasoned position based in facts. "I am not sort of trying to selectively curate information that will lead him to agree with me," she said of her interactions with her father. "Debate is good."
Yet Ivanka also recently told Fox & Friends that while there were "naturally areas where she and her father disagreed, she preferred to focus on issues where she and her father held similar viewpoints. "I'm more interested in being for something than against something," Ivanka told Ainsley Earhardt of Fox & Friends in a TV interview that aired June 26. "I instead like to focus on areas where I can add positive value, where I can contribute to the agenda."
Those areas, according to Ivanka, include policies related to veterans, workforce development, working families, and combating the opioid crisis. Climate change and women's economic empowerment, areas critics have been quick to point out, are not on the list.
In her interview with Fox & Friends, Ivanka also brushed aside the notion she should or could influence her father's behavior online or otherwise. "I try to stay out of politics," Ivanka told Fox & Friends when asked what she advises her father in regards to his social media use. "His political instincts are phenomenal ... I don't profess to be a political savant so I leave the politics to other people and really lean in to the issues that I care about."
But while Ivanka may not claim to be trying to influence her father's policymaking, some legislators (Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro for one) have credited her with, at the very least, helping to advance debate surrounding certain issues like paid family leave in public discourse.