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Ivanka moves away from controversial positions

China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-04 09:57
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Ivanka Trump. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - Ivanka Trump on Thursday distanced herself from some of her father's most controversial policies and strident rhetoric, saying she is "vehemently against" family separations and that journalists are not the enemy.

Speaking publicly for the first time since she shuttered her eponymous fashion brand last week, the first daughter and senior adviser to US President Donald Trump took a decidedly different approach than her combative father to stress that the immigration crisis has caused her anxiety.

"That was a low point for me as well," the senior White House adviser, 36, told a conference organized by news website Axios, referring to President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy that led to the separation of thousands of children from their migrant parents. "I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children, so I would agree with that sentiment."

Ivanka's position aligns with the opinion of everyday US citizens, who polls show are largely opposed to the separations.

The immigration crisis, which swelled further when audio footage emerged of detained toddlers crying for their mothers, caused a firestorm and in June the president reversed course.

But as of last week's deadline, 711 of the roughly 2,500 separated children were still not reunited with their parents, and officials were unable to clarify when they would see their family.

Ivanka also distanced herself from her father's relentless condemnation of the media - attacks that have raised the levels of anti-press antagonism at his recent rallies.

While saying she had "sensitivity" about why some people who feel targeted have gripes with reporters, she said the name which the president has bestowed on them is misplaced.

"No, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people," Ivanka said.

'Difficult issues'

Her words came in stark contrast to those of the president hours later, when he dubbed journalists "horrible, horrendous people" while speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania.

Many observers at the start of Trump's presidency expressed confidence that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner would act as a check on her father's cruder instincts.

That has largely failed to materialize. While Ivanka was said to have discouraged her father privately from the border policy, she said nothing publicly until after his reversal, when she thanked him for "taking critical action ending family separation".

Last year, she urged him to keep the United States in the Paris climate accord, but her prodding fell on deaf ears and the president pulled out.

As first daughter, Ivanka has traveled overseas representing the US, attended meetings with visiting heads of state and traveled domestically, fueling speculation she may harbor future political ambitions of her own.

"I'm really passionate about the work that I'm doing here and I'm really committed to it," she said.



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