Ivanka Trump, her husband, and their children took a fishing trip on Tuesday and the first daughter shared some of the highlights on Twitter. The photos were meant just to document the family outing, but an unfortunate symbol of America's ugly history was also lurking in the photos. As Twitter users noted, a Confederate flag is featured in Trump and Jared's vacation photos.
Trump tweeted four photos of Kushner and one of their children fishing on a boat at an unspecified location. In one of the photos, Kushner, who's wearing flip flops, holds up a fish. The first daughter's caption read, "To any kid, this fish is a trophy!"
Shortly after the tweet went up, social media users pointed out that a Confederate flag could be seen flying high on a boat in the background of the second photo, just behind Jared's head. Almost immediately, users began replying to Trump's tweet and mentioning her father's history of controversial comments regarding Confederate monuments and figures.
Others, however, argued it was unfair to criticize the first daughter for the flag, as it wasn't on their boat; one Twitter user asked, "Do you hold yourself accountable for the actions of the person driving next to you? If not, you’re a hypocrite."
One Twitter user made specific reference to her father's refusal to call out white supremacy in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. In response to Trump's vacation photos, the user remarked, "I'm sure there were 'very fine ppl on both sides' of the boat," a nod to the President's defense of white nationalist protesters as "very fine people."
Trump herself has been more vocal in condemning racists. Just one day after her father refused to call out white supremacists, she explicitly denounced "racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis" on Twitter, writing that there "should be no place in society for" that.
Her father's record on the issue, however, is a different matter. As a candidate, Donald Trump said the South Carolina government should "probably" take down a Confederate flag flying above the state house.
Respect whatever it is you have to respect because it was a point in time, and put it in a museum. But I would take it down, yes.
His tone changed markedly once he became president, however, and he often appeared to stoke the flames of the debate over Confederate memorabilia in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville. During an August rally, the native New Yorker said those who remove Confederate flags and monuments are "trying to take away our culture" and are "weak, weak people." He added that Confederate statues were "beautiful" and to remove them would tear apart American "history and culture."
Rather than note the Confederate flag in the background, some Twitter users replied to Trump's vacation photos in other ways. Some joked that the fish likely didn't a have a security clearance (a nod to Kushner's own security clearance forms, which were reportedly riddled with errors). Others remarked that Kushner should enjoy his vacation "while he can," just in case Kushner gets caught up in the Russia investigation; as one user noted, "this time next year he could be federal prison for his crimes."
On Instagram, where the first daughter also shared the photos, users noted the flag, as well.
"Nice Confederate flag in the background. Shocker," wrote one, while another wrote, "That confederate flag in the background adds a whole new element to a white Christmas."
Others noted that Trump's father has, at times, re-tweeted alt-right leaders and others with ties to white supremacists. It's unclear where Trump and Kushner spent the holidays, though the rest of the family (including the president and first lady) was in Mar-a-Lago for Christmas.