Donald Trump’s eldest daughter whom many hoped and believed would be a moderating influence on the President – has claimed she has no power to change his mind on issues he feels strongly about.
To voice dissent publicly would mean I’m not part of the team, she said in a rare newspaper interview. That doesn’t mean everyone in the White House has homogeneous views we don’t, and I think that’s good and healthy – but that doesn’t mean we’re publicly undermining [each other] and this administration.
Ms Trump, 35, and her husband, Jared Kushner, both played key roles during the former reality television star’s presidential campaign. After his surprise win, he insisted they join him in the White House, despite concerns raised by critics of Mr Trump about breaching anti-nepotism rules.
The couple, who were previously a fixture among a wealthy, largely liberal social group in New York, took up positions as federal employees and moved to Washington in order to fulfilMr Trump’s wish. At the time, many believed MsTrump in particular, would act as a moderating force upon her father, who ran on a nativist, nationalistic campaign.
Since they entered the West Wing, the Washington press corps has reported battles for dominance between various factions within the White House. One seasoned political reporter said she had identified at least six different groups vying for Mr Trump’s attention. Most had assumed that Ms Trump and her husband, had special access to the President’s ear.
Yet in her interview with the Financial Times, Ms Trump claimed this was not the case.
Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me that my presence in in and of itself would carry so much weight with my father that he would abandon his core values….It’s not going to happen, she said. To those critics, why of turning my father into a liberal, I’d be a failure to them.
Despite that, she insisted that her father does listen to a range of opinions on issues.
I think it benefits the president to be able to hear from people who both agree and disagree with him on any given issue, she said. And then, ultimately, the president makes his own decision.
Mr Trump’s relationship with his eldest daughter has long been the subject of fascination and study. Over a period of two decades, he frequently referred to her beauty, called her voluptuous and suggested he might date her if she was not his daughter.
In 2003, he told shock jock Howard Stern: You know who’s one of the great beauties of the world, according to everybody? And I helped create her. Ivanka. My daughter, Ivanka. She’s six feet tall, she’s got the best body. She made a lot money as a model – a tremendous amount.
Alongside this, as a member of his family, Mr Trump appears to trust her more than many of his senior officials or aides.