Ivanka Trump showed the entire world exactly why her father was so misguided when he appointed her to a top position within the federal government during her trip to South Korea for the Olympic closing ceremonies, and White House insiders say it’s causing tension among top government staff.
‘She’s a policy adviser bearing sensitive new details on sanctions to the South Koreans. She’s a loyal family member who won’t entertain questions about her father’s purported infidelities. And she’s a US figurehead bearing goodwill at an international sporting event.’
So proud of all these people! Everybody here has worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and have the opportunity to walk in the closing ceremony! Well… Everyone except Ivanka. Honestly, tf is she doing here?? pic.twitter.com/sfJKi0VTDb
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 25, 2018
John Kelly has reportedly never been a fan of the idea of having the president’s own daughter and son-in-law working in high profile positions in the White House, and Ivanka’s trip to South Korea inflamed opposition to her appointment as a Trump policy adviser.
Sources say Ivanka Trump’s balance between presidential daughter and staffer irks White House chief of staff John Kelly, especially as she led the delegation to South Korea https://t.co/kcElgYvmZ7 pic.twitter.com/uVQKLw1BxF
— CNN International (@cnni) February 27, 2018
According to CNN:
‘The blurred line between staffer and daughter has long irked Kelly, according to people familiar with the matter, who say his regimented sense of order is tested by the implicit access being a child of the President affords. When he assumed his West Wing role in late July, Kushner and Ms. Trump were initially supportive. The White House went to lengths to insist they would report to Kelly, rather than directly to the President. And over the summer and fall, both were said to admire Kelly and the order he brought to the White House.
‘Over the past weeks, however, Trump’s chief of staff has found himself repeatedly caught between his role as the West Wing’s top manager and as the person charged with carrying out the President’s will – which, in many cases, means doing what Trump’s family wants.’
With Trump insisting that matters like Jared Kushner’s failure to be approved for full security clearance while handling some of the U.S. government’s most sensitive classified information will be left up to his chief of staff, Kelly is caught in the unenviable position of dealing with the inexperienced adult children of the president, having less than full ability to sit in judgment of their actions since firing them would be more likely to see Kelly booted out than Jared or Ivanka.
Jared Kushner's security clearance depends on John Kelly, Trump says https://t.co/bDPvBBp8Mf pic.twitter.com/B1oBmQeibq
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 24, 2018
‘Meanwhile, Kelly has grown increasingly frustrated with Ivanka Trump since he entered the West Wing last July, people familiar with the situation say. He often feels that she tries to have it both ways, acting as a senior adviser to the president when it suits her and then as his daughter when it doesn’t. Kelly has remarked privately that Ivanka is just “playing government,” one source said, and has largely brushed aside her agenda, once disregarding her child tax credit as “a pet project.”‘
Ivanka proved this week exactly why Kelly is correct in being frustrated. In an interview with NBC News as the government’s representative at the Olympic delegation, the president’s daughter and top adviser on women’s issues was asked questions about the accusations of sexual impropriety against her father by 19 different women. Ivanka bristled and called the question “inappropriate.”
She’s correct. The question is highly inappropriate to ask of a president’s daughter. It is, however, a most relevant and appropriate question to ask of the president’s top adviser on women’s issues. That’s why Ivanka Trump had no business ever sitting in that position, and it’s Chief of Staff John Kelly who is left to address that mistake.
Featured image via Getty/Win McNamee