Give Donald Trump a chance, incoming first daughter Ivanka is asking fellow Americans as her father readies to be sworn in as president of a sharply divided country on Friday. Yet in an interview with ABC News, aired on the eve of the inauguration, the businesswoman and mother of three also admitted to urging her father to cut out some of his more controversial tweets.
“My father is an incredible unifier. For every critic, I would say give him time. Let him come into office. Let him prove you wrong,” the 35-year-old told ABC as she prepares to move to Washington.
Asked what she would say to tens of thousands of protesters expected to march across the United States Saturday who are worried that the incoming Republican administration will roll back rights, she replied: “I say, give my father a chance.”
Ivanka, whose husband has been appointed a White House advisor, is stepping down from both the family business and from running her fashion label to avoid conflict of interest accusations.
Known to be a calming influence on Trump, she said she gave her father “my feedback, solicited or otherwise” when it came to his twitter feed, adding “of course, at times, I tell him not to.”
Yet she also sought to dispel press speculation that she will become de facto first lady as her stepmother Melania stays in New York until the Trumps’ 10-year-old son, Barron, has at least finished the school year.
“There is one first lady and Melania will be an incredible first lady. I’m proud of her. She is intelligent, warm, caring and a remarkable person,” Ivanka told ABC.
But she was equally careful not to rule out a role for herself.
“My focus is moving to Washington, travelling around the country and listening and getting great feedback on how I can add positive value,” she told ABC.
She praised her husband Jared Kushner, whose White House appointment raised fears about nepotism, as a “remarkable human being.”
She also maintained that Chelsea Clinton was still “a very good friend,” despite the bitterness of the general election between her father and Chelsea’s Democratic mother Hillary Clinton.
Asked whether she will call her father Mr President, Ivanka replied: “He is always Dad.”