Over the last two years, Ivanka Trump has been heavily criticized for not taking a more public stance against some of her father's more controversial policies. When the President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policies led to the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, Ivanka, who touted herself as an advocate for children and families, was largely silent. In a new interview with ABC, however, Ivanka explains why she doesn't disagree publicly with Trump. The White House senior adviser said it's not her job to share diverging viewpoints.
"My job as a member of this administration is not to share my viewpoint when they diverge," Ivanka said when asked by The View co-host Abby Huntsman how she reconciled her work toward women's empowerment with things like her father's attempts to cut USAID's budget or his zero-tolerance immigration policies which saw thousands of immigrant children pulled from their families last year.
When reports alleging that families were being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border first surfaced in April, Ivanka was largely silent on the issue. In fact, she did not speak out publicly against the Trump administration's policy of family separation until August. While speaking at an Axios News Shaper series, Ivanka said the policy had been "a low point" for her. "I felt very strongly about that and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children," she said.
But in her ABC interview this week, Ivanka appeared to suggest that her remarks were not meant to be a public condemnation of her father's policy. "I was asked the question and I gave an answer," she told Huntsman.
That being said, Ivanka did not appear to regret her comments, telling Huntsman they were likely a consequence of not being heard behind closed doors. "I think that when you hear me start to speak publicly on an issue that's active it's because my voice isn't being heard privately," she said.
But this isn't the first time Ivanka has spoken out about her preference for handling her disagreements with her father in private. In November, she told ABC she "frequently" disagrees with her father, but does so in private conversations. "One of the reasons why I have such a good relationship with him is because I am incredibly candid with him," she said. "He knows exactly where I stand on any issue."
After roughly two years of work, Ivanka's efforts to economically empower women in the developing world appear to be coming to fruition. On Thursday, Trump signed a national security memorandum that officially launched the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative his daughter had long spearheaded. But critics have said Ivanka's empowerment initiative, which aims to assist some 50 million women in developing countries, seems at odds with some of Trump's other policies.
While defending her decision to largely keep her policy disagreements private to ABC, Ivanka also appeared to downplay her potential role as an advocate for women in the White House. "My role in this regard is not president of all women's issues or running all women’s issues across the United States government," she said.