- Prominent voices in the media are pressuring White House senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump to speak out against the administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border.
- In the last few days, media critics on both sides of the aisle have singled out Ivanka, who has championed issues affecting women and children.
- “All those photos of crying children don’t look so great on Instagram. Still, Ivanka, there is time to step up. You can do it. Be best,” a Washington Post columnist wrote Sunday.
Prominent voices in the media are putting renewed pressure on Ivanka Trump, the president’s adviser and eldest daughter, to speak out against the administration’s policy of separating children from their parents after being detained at the border.
In a monologue on Friday, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski sharply criticised Ivanka’s silence on the crackdown given her position as an influential adviser on issues concerning women and children. Brzezinski referenced a photo Ivanka posted on Instagram on Thursday of a “date night” with her six-year-old daughter, calling the move “more than tone deaf.”
“When you have babies being taken away from their mothers, you have to ask why the counselor to the president – who was brought in to help the president create good policies surrounding women, parental leave, domestic policies that are important to women in this country – you have to ask why Ivanka Trump is so tone deaf to post a picture about her special day yesterday with her daughter,” Brzezinski said.
“Again, just missing the mark every step of the way because this is about who we are as a nation and this is also about women and their vital role as mothers, and we’re losing … a sense of who we are. And it’s wrong and we need people in there with stronger voices.”
Elise Jordan, a conservative writer and political commentator who is regularly critical of the Trump administration, echoed Brzezinski’s sentiment.
“Wasn’t Ivanka supposed to be the White House’s point person on women and children? #IvankaCamp,” she tweeted.
On Sunday, first lady Melania Trump issued a rare statement regarding the administration’s practices at the border.
“Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform,” the first lady’s spokeswoman said. “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”
Karen Tumulty, a Washington Post opinion columnist, argued that the first lady’s “brave” demand that the country govern “with heart” be repeated by Ivanka.
“The first lady’s decision to step into the debate makes the silence of another Trump family member all the more telling. Where is Ivanka Trump, who is actually an official adviser to her father – and the one who claims that family issues are her portfolio?” she wrote.
“All those photos of crying children don’t look so great on Instagram. Still, Ivanka, there is time to step up. You can do it. Be best,” Tumulty continued, referring to Melania’s #BeBest campaign to battle cyberbullying and promote the well-being of children.
Others interpreted Melania’s statement as toothless and accused her of propagating her husband’s false claim that Democrats are to blame for the policy.
“Repudiate your husband immoral policy and your stepdaughters,” Steve Schmidt, a conservative political consultant, wrote in a tweet directed at the first lady. “She is a senior WH advisor and in charge of children’s issues. Not my branding, but calling these internment centres Ivanka camps is totally appropriate.”
Ivanka has so far been ignoring the criticism
Ivanka’s response to the regular criticism she’s received as an adviser and surrogate for the administration is to ignore the critics and negative press, and argue that she can’t reasonably be expected to publicly differ with the White House.
“To voice dissent publicly would mean I’m not part of the team,” Ivanka said last fall. “That doesn’t mean everyone in the White House has homogeneous views – we don’t, and I think that’s good and healthy – but that doesn’t mean we’re publicly undermining (each other) and this administration.”
Ivanka very rarely expresses views that are out of step with the official White House position. But last year, shortly after the Syrian government launched a chemical gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians, including children, she asserted that the US must admit some Syrian refugees to help alleviate the ongoing crisis in the war-torn nation.
Following recent criticism of her social media posts amid the migrant crisis, Ivanka lumped her critics with “the trolls.”