Ivanka Trump is a senior adviser to the president of the United States. Which makes what she told “Fox and Friends” on Monday very, very odd.
“You know, I try to stay out of politics,” Ivanka told Ainsley Earhardt in response to a question about whether she ever advised her father – aka President Donald Trump – about his Twitter feed.
Er. So. (Clears throat). Ahem. So.
Here’s the thing: This is a) impossible b) a convenient rhetorical non-answer and c) logically inconsistent.
Start here. The President is a political figure. He is literally the most powerful politician in the country. He ran for the job. As a Republican. Which is a political party. He sends tweets every day – six already today! – about a wide variety of political matters.
Given all of that, you can’t be a senior adviser to the president – with a West Wing office no less! – and proclaim that you “try to stay out of politics.” That’s like an assistant baseball coach saying that he “tries to stay out of baseball.” Or the managing editor of a news organization saying she “tries to stay out of the journalism.”
It’s just not a thing.
What Ivanka is doing here is clear. She doesn’t want to answer questions about her dad’s Twitter feed. There’s no “good” answer for her. If she says she doesn’t like that he tweets as much as he does, that’s a big story. If she says she endorses every one of his tweets, then, well, she has to stand behind every one of his tweets – which she almost certainly doesn’t want to do.
So, she says “I try to stay out of politics,” which, if you think about it, doesn’t really make sense in terms of even fake-answering the question she’s being asked. It would be like if I was asked “Do you like lollipops,” and I responded: “I’m gluten-free.”
Then there is the fact that Ivanka is trying to have it both ways here – as she often does. She can’t simultaneously insist that she has a unique ability to make her father hear divergent opinions while also saying that she’s just not into politics.
Ivanka quite clearly tried to convince the President to remain in the Paris climate accords. She even helped broker a high-profile meeting between Trump and former vice president Al Gore on climate. (And then the President pulled the US out of the accords anyway.)
Either Ivanka is one of her father’s most trusted advisers and confidantes or she tries “to stay out of politics.” Both of those things simply can’t be true.
If Ivanka Trump wanted to “stay out of politics” she had a simple way to do so: Don’t take an official role in her father’s White House. But, doing so wouldn’t have allowed her to influence the policies coming out of the White House. So, here she is.
To paraphrase Marco Rubio’s description of Barack Obama: Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Ivanka Trump doesn’t know what she’s doing. She knows exactly what she’s doing.