Ivanka Trump’s role in her father’s presidency has continued to evolve since the campaign. She’s been accused of everything from being just as bad as her father to being complicit in his actions with either her silence or her presence. Now, for the first time, she’s addressing the critics who have called her the latter in an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning — her first since becoming an official government employee.
“If being complicit is wanting to… be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit,” she said. She went on:
“So I hope to make a positive impact. I don’t know what it means to be complicit, but you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly that my father’s administration is the success that I know it will be.”
Trump’s new role, Assistant to the President, is unpaid and unofficial, which is how they are getting around nepotism laws. Despite denying that she would be involved in his administration last fall, and then again insisting that she would not be assuming the role of First Lady, she promptly moved into her own office in the West Wing last month.
Trump has been defending herself — and her father — since the beginning of his campaign. She has repeatedly tried to soften his image and brush off damning accusations, like last fall when her father was accused of various forms of sexual violence. “The greatest comfort I have is the fact that I know my father,” she said at the time. “Most of the people who write about him don’t. I do. [I am able to] to shrug off the things that I read about him that are wrong.” The brushing off of the comments her father made on tape about sexually assaulting women is essentially the definition of complicity (in case she really doesn’t “know what it means to be complicit,” as she stated in the CBS interview).
She also said she hopes she “can be an asset to him and make a positive impact.” The positive impact she keeps referring to, and the agenda she so passionately wants to support, is the one she’s been pushing the entire campaign. Those issues include wage equity and childcare. However, the maternity leave and childcare policies she helped draft fails on many levels — including providing support for LGBTQ or adoptive or unmarried parents — and when challenged on it in interviews, has become defensive.
She also has not commented on her father’s recent decision to rollback protections for working women after repealing the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act. But she said in the CBS interview that her failure to speak out against her father was not evidence of complicity, either.
“I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard…Where I disagree with my father, he knows it, and I express myself with total candor.”
All we’ve learned from Ivanka’s most recent interview is that she’s still really good at talking points and at spin, and she’s still willing to play damage control for her father’s dangerous and corrupt administration. And that is nothing if not complicit.