As Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's popularity sinks with voters, it appears that even the president isn't always a "Javanka" fan (that's Jared + Ivanka for those not in the know). According to a new report from the New York Times, Trump has joked that Jared wasn't his first choice for a son-in-law.
In a report published Saturday, Times journalists Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers reported that five people had reported hearing the president joke about how he could have had New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as a son-in-law. "Several times Mr. Trump joked that he 'could have had Tom Brady' as a son-in-law," the Times reported. "'Instead,' the president said... 'I got Jared Kushner.'"
This isn't the first time Trump has been reported to have voiced a desire to see Ivanka, his eldest daughter, romantically linked to Brady. Earlier this year, Business Insider's Scott Davis reported that Ivana Trump, the president's first wife and Ivanka's mother, revealed in her book Raising Trump that the business-mogul-turned-president had believed the NFL player "would make a good companion" for their daughter.
And according to the Daily Beast, Trump once admitted to radio personality Howard Stern that he'd gone so far as to try to talk Ivanka up to Brady during the 2002 Miss USA pageant in hopes that the athlete's interest would be piqued. When asked about that remark in a 2004 Playboy interview, Trump heaped praise on Brady and said he thought "he and Ivanka would make a great combination."
"He's a winner," Trump said of Brady in the interview. "And by that I mean every time he needs to make the pass, he makes it. You have other guys in the NFL and in life who have all the equipment but don't make the pass." Trump also called Brady "a great guy" and "a great character."
But Trump's dream of a "Branka" (or would it be "Ivady") romance was not to be. Ivanka and Jared met roughly three years after Trump's Playboy interview and were married in 2009.
However, in 2017, former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci further fueled speculation about Ivanka and Brady when he told TMZ he thought Brady skipped the Patriots' Super Bowl visit to the White House because his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, was jealous of his past with Ivanka. "I think she's possessive of him and probably didn't want him there," Scaramucci said.
But although Trump may have once wanted to see Brady partnered with his daughter, he appears to have accepted his son-in-law as a member of his inner circle, even if his and Jared's relationship has faltered at times. According to the Times, Trump has told aides he felt "Jared hasn't been so good for me" and, on more than one occasion, expressed a desire to see "Javanka" leave Washington.
But the Times claims Trump was ultimately drawn back to Ivanka and Jared as members of his staff continued to disappoint or simply depart. So while Ivanka and Jared have faced increasing criticism since Trump took office for their apparent inability to influence the president in key policy areas, the Times' report claims they remain as close to the president as ever.