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Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and White House adviser, admonished those who have what she described as “unrealistic expectations” about the impact she can have on her father’s agenda.
“Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me,” Ivanka said in a recent interview with the Financial Times.
“That my presence in and of itself would carry so much weight with my father that he would abandon his core values and the agenda that the American people voted for when they elected him,” she continued. “It’s not going to happen. To those critics, shy of turning my father into a liberal, I’d be a failure to them.”
Since taking on her senior role in the White House, Ivanka has repeatedly claimed that she expresses her opinions to her father privately and with “total candor.”
Addressing the concern of liberal critics who say she should be more outspoken, Ivanka told the FT that publicly exposing her differences with the president would be a disservice to the administration.
“To voice dissent publicly would mean I’m not part of the team. When you’re part of a team, you’re part of a team,” she said. “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.”
Ivanka, who helped run her family’s real estate business and built her own fashion brand, has voiced uncertainty about her role as first daughter, and – to the ridicule of some – says she tries to “stay out of politics,” but seems to remain focused on her own set of priorities in Washington: namely, the creation of a federal paid family leave policy, promoting women in science and entrepreneurship, and establishing workforce apprenticeship programs.
She is criticized on the left for her inability or unwillingness to rein in her father’s most extreme positions and on the right for her attempts to inject more liberal goals – including paid leave, which Republicans have historically opposed – into the administration’s agenda.
An unnamed friend from the Obama administration advised Ivanka to be “laser-focused” on her policy goals, the FT reported, and Ivanka insisted she “will not be distracted by the noise.”
The first daughter’s lofty – and, critics say, unearned – position in her father’s administration has sparked frustration among some aides, who argue that she and her husband, Jared Kushner, also a senior White House adviser, are ineffectual additions to the president’s team.