WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 18: Senior adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump (L), and senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) attend a summit at the East Room of the White House May 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The White House hosted a summit to discuss prison reform. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – MAY 14: (ISRAEL OUT) Ivanka Trump (L) kisses White House senior advisors Jared Kushner during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel. US President Donald J. Trump’s administration officially transfered the ambassador’s offices to the consulate building and temporarily use it as the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. Trump in December last year recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced an embassy move from Tel Aviv, prompting protests in the occupied Palestinian territories and several Muslim-majority countries. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
The casket of the late US Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, is carried out after the National Memorial Service at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, September 1, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 1: Guests arrive at the Washington National Cathedral for the funeral service for the late Senator John McCain, September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush are set to deliver eulogies for McCain in front of the 2,500 invited guests. McCain will be buried on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Rhonda Zuck (L) and her husband, Tim Zuck, (C) drove from Racine, Wisconsin, for the wreath laying ceremony for Senator John McCain at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on September 1, 2018. They both served in the Army. (Photo by Ray WHITEHOUSE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read RAY WHITEHOUSE/AFP/Getty Images)
A crowd gathers before Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain arrives to lay a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on September 1, 2018, during a funeral procession to carry the casket of her husband from the U.S. Capitol to National Cathedral for a memorial service. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW HARNIK/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Special Advisor Jared Kushner (2nd L) holding his son Theodore (L) walks back to the white House with his wife Ivanka Trump (R) and their son Joseph (C) as they return to the White House after spending a weekend in Bedminster NJ on July 29, 2018 in Washington DC. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo credit should read ERIC BARADAT/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 18: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) leaves the East Room of the White House after a summit as senior adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump (L), and senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner (2nd L) look on May 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The White House hosted a summit to discuss prison reform. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump’s children, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, disembark from Air Force One upon arrival at Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Florida, July 31, 2018, as Trump travels to a campaign rally.. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – MAY 14: (ISRAEL OUT) Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner speaks on stage as U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman (L) looks on during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel. US President Donald J. Trump’s administration officially transfered the ambassador’s offices to the consulate building and temporarily use it as the new US Embassy in Jerusalem. Trump in December last year recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced an embassy move from Tel Aviv, prompting protests in the occupied Palestinian territories and several Muslim-majority countries. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images,)
White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump speaks alongside US President Donald Trump at US Steel’s Granite City Works steel mill in Granite City, Illinois July 26, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 02: Ivanka Trump, White House adviser and daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks during an Axios360 News Shapers event August 2, 2018 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Axios held the event to discuss workforce development and ‘news of the day.’ (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 18: Senior White House Adviser and son-in-law of President Donald Trump Jared Kushner speaks during a panel discussion during a summit at the East Room of the White House May 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The White House hosted a summit to discuss prison reform. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 01: (AFP OUT) Senior Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner attends a meeting with inner city pastors in the Cabinet Room of the White House on August 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras – Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 31: (L-R) Ivanka Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, White House Director of social media Dan Scavino, Eric Trump, and Director of Oval Office operations Jordan Karem walk across the White House south lawn as they depart with U.S. President Donald Trump July 31, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump is scheduled to travel to Tampa, Florida where he will attend a campaign rally for Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who is running for governor. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US President’s Special Advisor and daughter Ivanka Trump attends a dinner with the US president and business leaders in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 7, 2018. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 16: Senior Advisor to the President, Jared Kushner looks as he attends a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on August 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)
White House Advisor Ivanka Trump is seen at an event honoring Evangelical leadership in the State Dining Room of the White House on August 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, assistant to President Trump, attends an arrival ceremony during a state visit on the South Lawn of the White House. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer
President Donald Trump and his campaign and White House associates currently face at least five separate investigations related to Russia meddling in the 2016 election, possible obstruction of justice or violations of campaign finance laws and of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
There also is a lawsuit agains the Trump Foundation and reports of probes into the financial dealings of Ivanka Trump, with legal experts and investigative journalists saying she should be worried about what Michael Cohen, her father’s disgraced former longtime lawyer, and Allen Weisselberg, Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, could tell some of these investigators, according to Huffington Post.
And yet, Ivanka Trump continues to regularly take to social media to share glowing news about her work as a senior White House advisor — boasting about how she met a particular lawmaker to talk about human trafficking or her proposal for paid family leave.
The self-styled White House workforce development czar also tweeted out praise for the “American worker” on Labor Day — two days after she and her husband Jared Kushner ignited a firestorm among both Trump critics and supporters for turning up at the memorial service for the late Senator John McCain — one of Trump’s strongest GOP critics and a regular target of his disparaging comments.
“It’s just so weird to me when I see her continuing to post, ‘I had a fantastic meeting with this lawmaker today’ on a day, like, when Michael Cohen is in court, pleading guilty and implicating her father in a federal crime,” said Emily Jane Fox, the author of “Born Trump,” a biography of Ivanka Trump and her siblings that came out this spring.
Fox, speaking in an interview late last week, added that Ivanka Trump’s continued posting about her “minor and small” White House accomplishments speaks to the ability of her and her husband to “completely compartmentalize.”
in the interview which was on the magazine’s The Hive podcast.
“I don’t understand how they can get up and go to work every day, and say we’re going to to keep working on these other things,” Fox continued in her conversation with Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bolton.
In her book, Fox added to the view that neither Donald Trump nor his wife and children and his campaign staff expected him to win the 2016 election.
But after Trump won, his reported favorite child got stars in her eyes about what her father’s presidency could mean for her personally, professionally and even politically.
For example, a friend of Ivanka Trump’s was quoted in Fox’s book as saying that the 36-year-old former teen model, real estate executive and fashion brand entrepreneur saw Trump’s January 2017 swearing in as a “coronation.”
Ivanka Trump saw the inauguration as the Trumps enjoying “their Kennedy moment,” with Donald Trump as the patriarch of a new American royal family and Ivanka Trump emerging as a combination of princess and leading political heir.
For that reason, Ivanka Trump made sure she literally took center stage at the inauguration. She planted herself directly behind Trump on the dais while he was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president.
And as much as Trump’s oldest daughter initially demurred about whether she would go to work in his White House, she began to see how joining his administration could be a stepping stone to another more high-powered, high-profile career, Fox reported.
Her friends told Fox they thought Ivanka Trump had begun to think about running for president herself one day. Meanwhile, Jared Kushner would leave his White House career and start a media empire or a hedge fund that would make him even wealthier than he already is, according to “Born Trump.”
“The only reason they went (to Washington) was to better themselves in the future, whether that would mean Ivanka running for office down the road or them coming back to New York and Jared starting a hedge fund with the connections he’s made,” Fox said in the interview. “Whatever they thought this would would mean for themselves and their future having this experience in Washigton, they have to know that this future doesn’t exist any more.”
It increasingly looks like America isn’t embracing Ivanka Trump’s idea of self-improvement.
In just the week before McCain’s memorial service, Ivanka Trump aggravated her father’s critics for a number of actions. There was her tweet claiming he cares about women’s empowerment, her tweet expressing sadness about a shooting at a Jacksonville, Florida, video game tournament, and then her tweet “honoring the memory and legacy of Senator John McCain” — when her father had once famously proclaimed the decorated U.S. Navy pilot was “not a war hero” because he was captured and imprisoned during the Vietnam War.
Ivanka Trump also got slammed over the White House’s initial refusal to lower its flags to half-staff to honor the late Arizona Republican.
Then came McCain’s memorial service; Trump reportedly had been asked by McCain’s family to stay away.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner’s presence was widely criticized, even after it was learned that Senator Lindsey Graham, a friend of McCain’s who is a Trump ally, had asked Cindy McCain if they could come.
People thought Ivanka Trump’s decision to attend lacked class and was “inappropriate.” Criticism of the couple being at the service even crossed party lines with people, commenting on the coverage by the usually Trump-friendly Fox News, expressing distaste and even outrage at their attendance.
Trump allies also fumed that the couple were there when the eulogies, notably by McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain, contained criticism directed at Trump, even if his name wasn’t mentioned, according to Politico.
One person called the couple’s attendance a “huge” mistake, Politico reported. But another complained that they had been seated too far back in the church, not up front with other VIPs, such as former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and their wives.
“It was a very nice gesture by Jared and Ivanka to attend,” Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, told Politico. “I find it contemptible that the McCain family couldn’t seat them in a better, more respectable section.”
In her interview, Fox said Ivanka Trump is aware of people writing critical things about her, but she either tunes out those comments or or is so convinced of her own righteousness that she’s able to carry on despite the criticism — or despite the legal jeopardy she herself may face.
Cohen, Trump’s lawyer who worked with Ivanka Trump herself every day for 10 years, pleaded guilty on Aug. 21 to six charges of tax evasion and bank fraud and two charges of violating campaign finance laws. The campaign finance charges implicate Trump in potential felony violations of the law.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who investigated the Cohen case, have granted immunity to Weisselberg, one of Trump’s closest financial advisors. According to Fox, Weisselberg knows where “every dollar and cent” went in the Trump organization.
“They really believe they are there for the right reason,” said Fox, explaining the “mental gymnastics” the couple must perform to get around “the darker” sides of Trump’s legal issues or of his controversial policies and rhetoric.
Fox said Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner may also believe the line coming from some people close to them: “Can you imagine if they weren’t there? As bad as it looks now, imagine what it would be like if they weren’t there.”
But there are ways in which Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have found their lives circumscribed by their associations with her father’s White House, according to Fox.
“They haven’t taken a major European summer vacation this summer for the first time. They also didn’t go to Sun Valley,” Fox said, referring to the annual gathering of America’s powerful tech and media elite in Sun Valley, Idaho. The couple attended the Sun Valley conference last year, potentially hobnobbing with the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
“It’s significant how much their lives have changed in the year and a half since they’ve been in the White House,” Fox said.
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