Biographer of President Donald Trump, Michael D'Antonio, told CNN Tuesday that he had some degree of "empathy" for First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who has had to defend her father her entire life -- but that empathy stopped the minute she hit adulthood and began taking advantage of taxpayers. D'Antonio made the remark during a discussion of the Charlottesville aftermath, described in Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the new exposé of the Trump family, in which Ms. Trump defended her father against charges of racism.
"She's been put in this position time and time again really throughout her adult life," D'Antonio said. "We have to remember, this is the kid who walked to school seeing her parents' tabloid divorce scandal played out on the newsstands that she passed on the street. So she's been in this awful position of having to explain this man for her whole life."
"I have to have some empathy for her, she's almost trapped in this dynamic," he continued. "Either she acknowledges that her father has racist leanings and says racist and bigoted things, or she has to lie about it and join sort of this family practice of denying the truth, manipulating the facts, and distorting when things are uncomfortable."
However, D'Antonio said his sympathy had its limits -- and details about Trump and her husband Jared Kushner trying to get inappropriate access to Air Force planes for travel was a hard line.
"Before I get carried away with my empathy for Ivanka Trump, that sort of stops with her adulthood," he said. "She has taken advantage of everything that her family name and her wealth offered." He compared Trump and Kushner's White House appointments explicitly to the college entrance exam scandal that roiled the country Tuesday, and said they had no business being there.
"I think Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are exhibit number one for nepotism," he said. "They're strikingly unqualified. It's appalling that they have offices in the White House at all."
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