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Ivanka, dubbed the First Daughter, is a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, as is her husband Jared Kushner. He appointed Jared as his adviser for strategic planning as soon as he took office in January 2017, and then took on Ivanka in March as an adviser on women’s issues. However, in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election, Ivanka had insisted she would not join the administration.
In an interview with 60 Minutes, she was asked: “People think you’re doing to be part of the administration Ivanka,” to which she said: “No, I’m going to be a daughter.”
Then, just a few months later she did a complete 180 by accepting a high-profile position as an adviser.
According to the 2019 book ‘Kushner Inc’, it had become clear to those in the transition team by December that Ivanka had no intention of sticking to her word.
For one thing, she and her husband moved to Washington DC with their three children almost immediately after the election.
For another, she enlisted Risa Heller, a Kushner Companies spokeswoman, to help her shape her image, and looked to hire more staff.
She even began to involve herself in certain aspects of the transition, such as the layout for the White House.
Author Ms Ward wrote: “As schematics of the new West Wing layout were worked on, there was a large office designated for Ivanka.
“She would hire a team of three, which was unusually large for someone with a nebulous White House role.”
Ivanka even came into conflict with her stepmother Melania Trump over her involvement in the White House layout plans.
Ivanka had initially been overseeing the plans for the East Wing, usually the First lady’s job.
Two transition officials saw the draft plans had ‘Trump Family Office’ stenciled in for the corner officer, while Melania appeared to have no office to herself.
However, when Melania caught wind of it, she confronted Ivanka and put a stop to it, two sources told Ms Ward.
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Melania “put her foot down”, one official said.
After she was appointed as a senior adviser, Ivanka defended her previous statements in an interview with CBS This Morning in April 2017.
She said: “When I spoke to 60 Minutes I had been five or six days since the election and I was processing real time the new reality and what it would mean.
“I realised that having one foot it and foot out wouldn’t work and the reality is that it all happened very organically for me.
“I had to determine that my husband and I would both want to be in DC, that it was viable to move our children, that they would be happy in their new environment.
“After I decided I wanted to try, I needed to divest of numerous businesses, so did my husband, and I wanted to understand where I could be an asset to the administration, how I could help my father and ultimately the country.”
She added that she would be focusing on advocacy, including the empowerment of women and the role of education.
The ‘special adviser’ title, she claimed, was merely to show critics that she would be holding herself to a high ethical standard.
However, it is not clear why these things had not been discussed during the election or why she had outright denied planning to join the administration, rather than simply saying it was too early to say.
Bizarrely, even after Ivanka took up her role as senior adviser to the President, she still tried to claim she wanted to “stay out of politics”.
In an interview with Fox News in June 2017, she said: “I advise my father on a plethora of things.
“He trusts me to be very candid with my opinions, I don’t have a hidden agenda, I make it very clear where I stand on a certain issue, so I give him my open and candid feedback ‒ sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree.
“I try to stay out of politics ‒ his political instincts are phenomenal, he did something that no one could have imagined he would be able to accomplish.
“There were very few who saw it early on and I feel blessed to have been part of the ride from day one and before, but he did something pretty remarkable.
“But I don’t profess to be a political savant, so I leave politics to other people and really lean into the issues that I care deeply about.”
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