President Donald Trump's eldest daughter has paid a visit to one of America's foremost TV doctors, and according to CBS News, she used the opportunity to indulge what's become a familiar pastime. Namely, in an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz (of NBC's eponymous The Dr. Oz Show), Ivanka Trump downplayed her White House role and the scope of her influence once again, insisting that it wasn't her place to be "the decision-maker."
In the interview, which has yet to air, Ivanka reportedly tells Oz that while she shares her views "candidly," her job is not to "undermine" her father's agenda:
I have my views and I share them candidly. And as a daughter I have the latitude to do that. But I also respect the process that my father is now president. And the American people elected him based on his agenda. And my job isn't to undermine that agenda.
To the contrary, Ivanka described to Oz precisely how she sees her role. And from the sounds of things, it doesn't sound uniquely assertive, or deeply influential. "I think my role — and anyone who works for the president of the United States — their role is continue to inform, advise, and then ultimately execute. So I'm not the decision-maker," Ivanka continued.
Ivanka, 35, has long been looked to (and during the 2016 presidential campaign, presented herself as) a more moderate and measured representative of the Trump family, someone who could help keep the direction of the country on the rails by reigning in some of her father's more harmful impulses. During her high-profile speech at the Republican National Convention, for example, she advocated for eliminating the wage gap and for paid maternity leave ― issues typically foreign to the GOP agenda ― creating the impression that she'd be playing a distinct role in advising her father on social policy.
And yet, ever since he was sworn into office in January, the president hasn't seemed to care all that much where Ivanka stands on the issues. Either that, or she doesn't much care to really fight about it. She's faced backlash over the past several months for tweeting support for LGBTQ Americans amid her father's transgender military ban, voicing some cautious skepticism about his his refugee and immigration ban, and reportedly "moving on" from his decision to scuttle the Paris climate accords.
She even put out a statement backing the administration's decision to allow companies to stop compiling data on equal pay, after making support for equal pay ― nominal support, at least — a core plank of both her personal and political brands.
In short, she was toutef by the Trump campaign (as well as many observers and political analysts in the mainstream media) as the friendlier, more polished face of the Trump family, someone who could help moderate her father's impulses. Now, however, she keeps telling the public she really doesn't have that much influence, with the obvious implication that you shouldn't be upset with her if things go badly.
This is far from the first time Ivanka has sought to downplay her own relevance and influence within the White House. According to a POLITICO report in late July, she's concerned that people expect her to have an influence and impact on her father's policies, and "desperately wants to lower expectations" for her role.
It's worth keeping in mind that Ivanka is not simply the president's daughter. Although she doesn't officially draw a paycheck, she's an official presidential adviser, a government official with a White House office of her own. And she has been publicly credited with influencing policy in at least one way, with her brother Eric Trump claiming she swayed her father into firing missiles at a Syrian airfield back in April.
But from the sounds of things, she may have come to the conclusion that she really doesn't want people thinking she's centrally involved in her father's decision-making process, or that there's anything she could've done to stop some of his most controversial policies. If you're curious to see her interview with Dr. Oz in its entirety, it's slated to air on Thursday.