It just goes to show that you should never offer up a guess what your critics are trying to say about you if you don't know exactly what their words mean. On Tuesday, the elder Trump daughter responded to one of the countless criticisms of her role in her father's administration, and did so in an excruciatingly awkward fashion, saying she didn't know "what it means to be complicit." And let's just say the internet had a field day. Here are some reactions to Ivanka's definition of complicit, including a sick burn from the fine folks at Merriam-Webster.
The charge against Ivanka has been lobbed both by serious-minded political observers and satirists alike. Saturday Night Live even sent her up as releasing a perfume called "Complicit." But in speaking to CBS' Gayle King on Tuesday morning, it became clear enough that the 35-year-old, now potentially one of the most influential women on Earth, didn't quite get the gag, or (by her claim, at least) didn't know the meaning of the word.
If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good, and to make a positive impact, then I'm complicit. I don't know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any differently than I'm doing. So, I hope to make a positive impact. I don't know what it means to be complicit.
To say this sparked a reaction of Twitter would be, well, a severe understatement.
Merriam-Webster's definition of "complicit," for the record, is "helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way." It is not, in other words, simply to be a party to something ― it carries an explicitly negative, rather sinister meaning. Which is why it would've probably been better for Ivanka if she hadn't flatly misstated what it meant, then confessed to not knowing. But alas, her loss proved to be social media's gain.
Here are 13 ways people responded to her remarks about complicity, which could be characterized as a rather epic self-awareness fail.
1. Merriam-Webster Wins The Day
2. That Kind Of Thing
3. Look It Up
4. If You Work In The White House
5. This Is What Complicit Means
6. Ivanka Is Not The First
7. But Just FYI
8. The Culture Of A Corrupt Admin
9. Sort Of Like What You're Saying Here
10. If Being Complicit Means
11. In Addition To Not Knowing
12. When You Personally Take Part
13. The One True Thing