Ivanka Trump's dual roles as se­nior ad­viser, first daugh­ter

Starkville Daily News - - FORUM - By CATHER­INE LUCEY As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Ivanka Trump ex­pects to be treated se­ri­ously as a se­nior White House ad­viser. But when faced with un­com­fort­able ques­tions about her fa­ther's treat­ment of women, she'd pre­fer to be viewed as just a daugh­ter.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's el­der daugh­ter drew fresh scru­tiny Mon­day for an NBC in­ter­view in which she ar­gued that a query to her about the women ac­cus­ing the pres­i­dent of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior was "pretty in­ap­pro­pri­ate."

The com­ment high­lighted her com­pli­cated roles as both first daugh­ter and ad­vo­cate for women and fam­i­lies, serv­ing in an ad­min­is­tra­tion led by a pres­i­dent ac­cused of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior by more than a dozen women.

Asked if she be­lieved the ac­cu­sa­tions against her fa­ther, Ivanka Trump said: "I think it's a pretty in­ap­pro­pri­ate ques­tion to ask a daugh­ter if she be­lieves the ac­cusers of her fa­ther when he's af­fir­ma­tively stated that there's no truth to it. I don't think that's a ques­tion you would ask many other daugh­ters."

Trump has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, and his daugh­ter said she stood by him.

"I be­lieve my fa­ther, I know my fa­ther," she said. "I think I have that right as a daugh­ter, to be­lieve my fa­ther."

She was in­ter­viewed af­ter lead­ing the U.S. del­e­ga­tion at the clos­ing cer­e­mony for the Win­ter Olympics,

Kather­ine Jel­li­son, who heads the his­tory depart­ment at Ohio Univer­sity, said Ivanka Trump ap­peared to be try­ing to have it both ways.

"You're ei­ther a se­nior ad­viser or a daugh­ter. She's in this unique po­si­tion that she's still try­ing to work out," said Jel­li­son, an ex­pert on first fam­i­lies. "Es­pe­cially since she was last in the news as a se­nior ad­viser go­ing to the Olympics."

Ivanka Trump's trip to Asia in­cluded a pri­vate meet­ing with the South Korean pres­i­dent and a pledge that she would use her visit to ad­vo­cate max­i­mum pres­sure on North Korea to halt its nu­clear pro­gram. Trump doc­u­mented her jour­ney on so­cial me­dia, post­ing pho­tos and mes­sages to ath­letes.

Be­fore she left Asia, Trump wrote: "Thank you to Pres­i­dent Moon, First Lady Kim & the peo­ple of South Korea for the warm hos­pi­tal­ity you showed me, our Pres­i­den­tial Del­e­ga­tion & #TeamUSA dur­ing the #Win­terO­lympics."

Trump worked on the pres­i­dent's tax over­haul last year and suc­cess­fully pressed for a beefed-up child tax credit. She has also pro­moted is­sues such as STEM ed­u­ca­tion and work­force de­vel­op­ment.

But she has strug­gled to find the right tone to re­spond to the ris­ing #MeToo mo­ment. She re­cently got push­back for a tweet of­fer­ing sup­port for Oprah Win­frey's mes­sage of fe­male em­pow­er­ment at the Golden Globe awards.

She said: "Just saw @Oprah's em­pow­er­ing & in­spir­ing speech at last night's #Gold­enGlobes. Let's all come to­gether, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #UNITED."

Ac­tress Alyssa Mi­lano and oth­ers quickly chimed in, point­ing out that the tweet didn't men­tion her fa­ther's ac­cusers. Mi­lano re­sponded to Ivanka Trump's tweet: "Great! You can make a lofty do­na­tion to the Time's Up Le­gal De­fense Fund that is avail­able to sup­port your fa­ther's ac­cusers."

Ivanka Trump is not the first pres­i­den­tial fam­ily mem­ber who has sought to play down per­sonal ques­tions. Jel­li­son re­called that former first lady Bar­bara Bush once pushed back on a ques­tion about her grand­daugh­ters af­ter they re­ceived ci­ta­tions for un­der­age drink­ing.

Jel­li­son said the sit­u­a­tion with Ivanka Trump was dif­fer­ent, adding, "she did choose to play this se­nior ad­vi­sory role."

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