Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, called media coverage of Ivanka Trump “shameful” during an interview with conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.
“I think it’s shameful the way that she’s been treated,” Sanders said of coverage of the president’s eldest daughter. “If she didn’t have the same last name, they would be celebrating her. They would be praising her. They would be thanking God that she is sitting in a position that she is to influence policy and help women across this country.”
“Instead, they attack her, they shame her, and they belittle her,” Sanders went on. “I think it’s very shameful, and I think it’s sad because she’s such a good advocate for so many women. And for them to attack her, I think, is just really disheartening.”
Neither Sanders nor Hewitt, who prompted the comment by charging that the media is “downplaying” Ivanka’s White House advisory role, pointed to any specific news reports that they believe are unfair.
While Sanders is likely referring to criticism of Ivanka coming from the left, Breitbart News, the right-wing site run by the president’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been particularly critical of Ivanka’s role in the administration, which it views as threatening to the president’s nationalist agenda. Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow suggested in a leaked email that he could have Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, another top adviser, ousted from the White House “by end of year.”
White House aides reportedly refer to Ivanka as “princess royal” behind her back and some were incensed when the first daughter temporarily took her father’s seat at a meeting of the G-20 in Germany in July.
“Excuse me,” one former Trump adviser told Vanity Fair. “This is not a royal family, and she’s not the princess royal.”
Sanders defended Ivanka against that criticism in July, calling it an “outrageous attack” and said that the US should be “proud” to have the president’s daughter represent the nation at a meeting of world leaders.
Sanders has also charged that the media is biased against every woman working in Trump’s White House.
“Democrats love to talk about the ‘War on Women,'” she told Fox News in April. “The only ‘War on Women’ that I see is the one that’s being waged against every woman and every female that is close to this president.”
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