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Ivanka Trump: "I'll weigh in with my father on the issues I feel strongly about"

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In her first interview since becoming assistant to the president, Ivanka Trump answers her critics and talks about her new life in Washington
Last Updated Apr 5, 2017 7:56 AM EDT
Ivanka Trump moved to Washington with her family after the presidential election. She and her husband, Jared Kushner, have both taken on senior roles in the Trump White House.
In an interview you’ll see only on “CBS This Morning,” the president’s daughter told Gayle King her unprecedented position — assistant to the president — has opened the door for her to have a major impact.
Ivanka Trump
Gayle King: When you spoke with “60 Minutes” you said it was your intention to be a daughter, that you were not going to play a role in the administration, what changed your mind?
Ivanka Trump: When I spoke to– “60 Minutes” it was– I think five or six days following the election. And– and I was processing real time the new reality and– and what it would mean … I realized that having one foot in and one foot out wouldn’t work. … And the reality is that it– it all happened very organically for me.
Gayle King: Did it?
Ivanka Trump: I had to determine that my husband and I, we both wanted to be in D. C., that it was viable to move our children, that they would be happy in the new environment. After I decided I wanted to try, I needed to divest with numerous businesses. So did my husband … And I wanted to understand where I could be an asset to the administration. About how I could help my father and, ultimately, the country.
Gayle King: What will you be doing?
Ivanka Trump: I think for me, what it means is that– I’ll continue the advocacy work that I was doing in the private sector– advocating for the economic empowerment of women. I’m very focused on the role of education… I’m still my father’s daughter. So to me the– this particular title was about giving critics the comfort that I’m holding myself to that highest ethical standard. But I’ll weigh in with my father on the issues I feel strongly about.
Gayle King: You say that you are your father’s daughter, and we all get that. You also talk about the critics, and you have a couple that say, “Why isn’t Ivanka speaking out? Where is she on Planned Parenthood? Where is she on gay rights? Where is she on the rights of women? Where is she on climate change?” And it’s, like, you’re being held personally accountable for not speaking up. What do you say to your critics?
Ivanka Trump: I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard. In some cases, it’s through protest and it’s through going on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue on which you disagree with. Other times it is quietly and directly and candidly. So where I disagree with my father, he knows it. And I express myself with total candor. Where I agree, I fully lean in and support the agenda and– and hope– that I can be an asset to him and– and make a positive impact. But I respect the fact that he always listens. It’s how he was in business. It’s how he is as president.
Gayle King: How much of a learning curve is it for you, for your father, for the Trump administration?
Ivanka Trump: For me, tremendous. The issues in this country are so big, and the problems are enormously complicated. But I am incredibly confident in my father to be able to execute on his promise to the people who elected him.
Gayle King: On the other side, though, there are critics who are very worried and who are very afraid, who are concerned about the direction that the country’s going on. And what do you say to those people?
Ivanka Trump: We live in a very polarizing time and this–
Gayle King: Do you think your dad’s contributed to that, to the polarization–
Ivanka Trump: This predates my father, but I think the election highlighted for people just how divided this country was.
Gayle King: I’ve seen many headlines that say– “Ivanka and Jared are the moderating– the moderating force in the White House. They have the president’s ear.” Who is it that tells him the hard truths? Is that you?
Ivanka Trump: I do. And almost everyone he surrounds him with does. … We’re in a very unique time where noise equals, in a lot of people’s perception, advocacy. And I fundamentally disagree with that. I do think there’s a time for public denouncement … I also think there’s a time for discussion. And so you asked me about– about people who criticize me for not taking to social media on every single issue, and I would ask them if that would render me more effective or less effective with the people ultimately making decisions?
Gayle King: Not even–
Ivanka Trump: So I–
Gayle King: –necessarily social media, but just speaking up about things that you–
Ivanka Trump: I do.
Gayle King: Yeah.
Ivanka Trump: I speak up frequently. And my father agrees with me on so many issues. And where he doesn’t, he knows where I stand. But–
Gayle King: Can you give us–
Ivanka Trump: –it’s not my administration–
Gayle King: — an example of something that you disagree with him on and that you think that by speaking up to him it made him change his position or soften his position? Are you comfortable with that?
Ivanka Trump: I think that for me this isn’t about promoting my viewpoints. I wasn’t elected by the American people to be president. My father is gonna do a tremendous job. And I wanna help him do that. But I don’t think that it will make me a more effective advocate to constantly articulate every issue publicly where I disagree. … And that’s okay. That means that I’ll take hits from some critics who say that I should take to the street. And then other people will in the long-term respect where I get to. But I think most of the impact I have, over time most people will not actually know about.
Gayle King: People are fascinated– very fascinated by you and Jared. And particularly now, fascinated by the role that Jared is playing. He seems to be doing a lot. Let’s talk about dealing with Mexico, China, running an office of innovation, brokering peace in the Middle East. He’s now in Iraq. How is he able to do all of that? And what are his qualifications? That’s the other thing people are saying. How can a person who has no military and political experience be involved on such a high level in this administration?
Ivanka Trump: So, you know, a lot of people would say the same about how could somebody successfully win the presidency who had never been engaged in politics? And my father did that, and Jared was instrumental in helping his campaign succeed. So, you know, Jared is incredibly smart, very talented, has enormous capacity. He is humble in the recognition of what he doesn’t know, and is tremendously secure in his ability to– to seek informed viewpoints. He has an amazing team that my father has built at the White House and that he’s built that’s helping work on each of these initiatives. So, you know, the myth that he’s operating in a silo is– is just that.
Gayle King: I’ve read articles saying you are complicit– that Jared and Ivanka are complicit in what is happening to the White House. Can you just weigh in on how you feel about that? There’ve been articles. There’ve been parodies. What do you think about that– that accusation?
In her first interview after becoming assistant to the president, Ivanka Trump sits down with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King to talk about…
Ivanka Trump: If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit. I don’t know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any differently than I’m doing. So I hope to make a positive impact. I don’t know what it means to be– complicit– but– 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.
Gayle King: When we talk about the Ivanka Trump brand you are no longer running the day-to-day.
Ivanka Trump: No, I’m no longer–
Gayle King: What have you done with your business?
Ivanka Trump: I have no involvement with any of that. … I felt like proximity to my father and to the White House and– with my husband taking such an influential role in the administration, I didn’t wanna also be running a business.

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