Ivanka Trump: Here's why I don't speak out against my father

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor
President Trump kisses his daughter Ivanka during a tax-reform rally in Mandan, N.D., on Sept. 6. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Ivanka Trump is pushing back against people who criticize her for not publicly condemning President Trump’s caustic statements and controversial proposals.

“Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me,” Ivanka, first daughter and special White House adviser, said in an interview published Thursday in 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. It’s not going to happen. To those critics, shy of turning my father into a liberal, I’d be a failure to them.”

Both Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, also a senior White House adviser, have come under fire for not speaking out publicly against the president’s controversial statements and policies.

In an interview with Refinery 29 earlier this week, Hillary Clinton was asked whether Ivanka Trump is “complicit” in the administration’s actions.

Clinton said that while President Trump should ultimately be held responsible for trying to impose a political agenda that turns the clock back on American values, “everyone associated with him … they’re either on board with that, or they’re not.”

Related: ‘She’s complicit’: Ivanka Trump torched by ScarJo on ‘SNL’

“And if they’re not, they need to be speaking out or leaving,” the former Democratic nominee added. “But if they remain silent and just give lip service to contrary points of views, then they are part of his agenda and should be judged and held accountable for that.”

But Ivanka Trump says that speaking out against her father is not an option if she wants to remain in the White House.

“To voice dissent publicly would mean I’m not part of the team,” she said. “When you’re part of a team, you’re part of a team. 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.”


Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon — who reportedly clashed with both Jared and Ivanka inside the West Wing — expressed a similar view in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday.

“When you side with a man, you side with him,” Bannon said. “The good and the bad. You can criticize him behind [closed doors], but when you side with him, you have to side with him.

“You can tell him, ‘Hey, maybe you can do it a better way,‘” Bannon added. “If you’re going to break, then resign. If you find it unacceptable, you should resign.”

Kushner told the Financial Times that his wife “tries to be supportive of her father and I think that she is able to both agree and disagree with him in private and share her feedback with him honestly and respectfully.”

“We know at the end of the day we will judge our experience based on the results,” Kushner said. “We are not going to look back when this thing is over and say, ‘Oh, there’s a bad story’ or ‘We had a bad meeting with that person.’ We’re going to look back and say, ‘Did we achieve our goals?‘”

Ivanka added: “Whether my contribution ultimately lives up to the expectations of some of the harshest critics? Only time will tell. But I will not be distracted by the noise.”

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