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Ivanka Had Plenty of Chances to Break With Daddy Trump—It’s Too Late Now



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Never mind the question of illegality. The indictment of Donald Trump is yet another reminder that today’s Republican Party has embraced a man who allegedly had sex with a porn star while his wife was pregnant.

I say “allegedly,” because almost nobody, save for Trump, is arguing that Trump didn’t have sex with Stormy Daniels. But that’s just one data point. Whether it was his Access Hollywood comments, the so-called “Muslim ban,” or his comments about “the very fine” attendees of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, it has long been obvious to anyone paying attention that Trump is a bad person.

Well, almost anyone. Let’s take, for example, Ivanka Trump.

On Friday, Ivanka posted a statement to Instagram which read: “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political expression expressing support and concern.” Talk about a non-statement. And to drive the point home, an aide confirmed to The Daily Beast that these fewer than 30 words will be her only comment on the matter. “That is all,” the aide told the Beast.

It’s hard to argue with anything Ivanka says here, but it is not a statement of moral clarity. Nor is it (conversely) a statement of strong support for her father. She’s flailing and trying to have it both ways.


Now, it’s understandable that a daughter might not want to utterly condemn her father. Further, children are not responsible for their parents’ sins. Except, of course, if you consider the fact that Ivanka served as the primary weapon in the “Trump’s not such a belligerent pig as his four decades as a public figure would make you think” propaganda push. (The New York Times headline for an article on Ivanka’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention? “Ivanka Trump Softens Father’s Image.”)

There’s also the inconvenient fact that Ivanka (and her husband) both served in her father’s administration.

Now, though, it seems Ivanka wants to go back to being little miss can’t be wrong. An article this week in People magazine notes that “Ivanka Trump is continuing to keep her distance from her father… as a grand jury weighs whether to indict the former president over an alleged hush money payment made to a porn star in 2016.”

Although Ivanka never publicly broke with her dad, despite all the horrible things he said and did, “insiders” now say that she “misses her active social life in New York, but is enjoying Miami and all that it has to offer.” How nice for Ivanka.

In fairness, Ivanka was willing to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee and tell the truth: That she agreed with Attorney General Bill Barr that the 2020 election was not stolen. (Subtext: that means she disagreed with her father, who tried to take down the Republic rather than admit he lost an election.) But that doesn’t make her a hero. Nor does it mean we should forget her contribution to boosting and enabling Orange Julius.

Of course, Ivanka is merely one of the enablers who are currently trying to retcon us.

Former White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump is seen on a video screen during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2022.



Another example includes former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is laying the groundwork for a possible second presidential bid, and hasn’t yet commented on Trump’s indictment.

Christie’s central electoral argument seems to be that he’s the only person in America who can stand up to Trump in a primary debate. “You better have somebody on that stage who can do to [Trump] what I did to Marco [Rubio] because that’s the only thing that’s going to defeat Donald Trump,” Christie said recently.

On the surface, this rationale makes sense. Christie has qualities that could come in handy: He’s tough. He can talk. He’s quick on his feet. Moreover, as Christie suggests, no other likely GOP primary contestant is willing to actually attack Trump—at least, not yet.

The fundamental flaw with this argument is that what Christie did, he did to… Rubio. This is to say that Christie’s biggest selling point involves having sabotaged Trump’s top competition.

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In this regard, isn’t it more likely that Christie would take down Trump’s main rival, DeSantis, on his way to some mythical one-on-one confrontation with Trump?


More to the point: Can (and should) we trust a man who paved the way for Trump’s victory by destroying Rubio—and then quickly endorsed Trump for president?

And to be very clear, the Trump ass-kissing didn’t end there. As The Bulwark’s Jonathan V. Last notes, “Christie was still with Trump as of 2019, when he published his book about ‘his friend’ Donald, in which he said that Trump was a great president who was sometimes poorly served by the unworthy people who surrounded him.”

Christie has said that Trump’s refusal to accept the 2020 results was a “red line” for him. But Christie was hardly a profile in courage, refusing to even say Trump’s name while criticizing him at a big 2021 speech at the Reagan Library.

Christie, of course, isn’t the only would-be 2024 Trump rival who is guilty of playing this game. The list includes former Vice President Mike Pence, who on Thursday called Trump’s indictment “an outrage.”

White House Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump smiles while campaigning for Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler on the eve of the run-off election to decide both of Georgia’s Senate seats, in Dalton, Georgia, U.S., January 4, 2021.


I mean, Donald Trump incited the mob that included rioters stalking the halls shouting for Pence to be hung on Jan. 6—but his former veep isn’t just defending him in regards to the Manhattan grand jury’s indictment, Pence also resisted a grand jury subpoena regarding Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election (this week, a federal judge ordered Pence to testify).

Pence, of course, is also weighing a primary bid against Trump. Like Christie, his past support for Trump, coupled with his continued obsequiousness, would seem to be disqualifiers for someone hoping to be the leader of the free world. Pence wants a political rebirth, but isn’t willing to completely disavow the sins of the past.


That’s not to say Never Trumpers shouldn’t welcome converts. They say it’s never too late to do the right thing. But for that to be true, you actually have to do the right thing, not just distance yourself from the person who did the bad thing—especially when you did nothing to stop that person when it counted.

And even if you eventually come to your senses, does that qualify you to be president? As the colorful, if crude, expression goes: “It’s all right if the town whore joins the church, but they don’t let her lead the choir the first night.”

You have to search far and wide to find a Republican who hasn’t abdicated any claim to future leadership, by virtue of their behavior during the Trump era. The enablers, one suspects, will not win the future. Nor should we soon forget about their contribution to our long national nightmare.

As far as the former first daughter goes, she and her husband might be done with politics, but once you’ve been a party to an administration like Trump’s, it’s going to be a long time before politics is done with them.

So, Ivanka, you want to have a seat at the cool apolitical kids’ table? You want to be once again accepted by the socially liberal billionaires’ children you used to go to the Hamptons with and now have Miami Beach playdates with? You want to enjoy the privileges of being a Trump with none of the shame? Good luck with that.

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Source: The Daily Beast


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