August 02, 2018
Ivanka Trump has said the separation of migrant families was a “low point” from her time in the White House in rare public criticism of her father's administration.
Ivanka Trump: Migrant separations a ‘low point’ and journalists are not ‘enemy of the people’
Ms Trump also appeared to question his rhetoric on the media, saying that journalists were not “the enemy of the people” - a phrase Donald Trump, the US president, has used repeatedly.
The comments, which were made in an interview with political website Axios, come at a time when Ms Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are attempting to defend their impact in the White House.
Both have senior adviser roles to the president and had been seen as a counter-balance to his nationalist instincts but have been criticised for not speaking out enough.
Earlier this year the separation of parents from their children when they were caught illegally crossing into America triggered heavy criticism of the Trump administration.
The number of separations soared after Jeff Sessions, the US attorney general, announced a “zero tolerance” policy. Mr Trump eventually signed an executive order ending family separations.
Asked if she agreed with White House colleagues who saw the episode had been a low point, Ms Trump said: “That was a low point for me as well.
“I feel very strongly about that and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children so I would agree with that sentiment. I think immigration is incredibly complex as a topic. Illegal immigration is incredibly complicated."
She went on: “I am the daughter of an immigrant, my mother grew up in communist Czech Republic, but we are a country of laws.
Ivanka Trump: Migrant separations a ‘low point’ and journalists are not ‘enemy of the people’
"She came to this country legally and we have to be very careful about incentivising behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone.
"These are not easy issues, these are incredibly difficult issues and like the rest of the country, I experienced them in a very emotional way."
Her comments and the tone of the delivery is a marked contrast to Mr Trump’s rhetoric. He recently tweeted that illegal migrants “pour into and infect our country”.
Ms Trump also struck a different tone to her father on the media, who Mr Trump has ridiculed as “fake news” and dubbed “the enemy of the people” – a phrase that has drawn criticism from some leading Republicans.
Ivanka Trump: Migrant separations a ‘low point’ and journalists are not ‘enemy of the people’
Ms Trump said: “I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate.
“So I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they feel targeted. But no I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people."
Ms Trump and her husband Mr Kushner, aged 36 and 37, are two of the most influential advisers in the White House, having played central roles in Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
They have outlasted internal critics in the White House power struggle, most notably Steven Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who dismissively dubbed them ‘Javanka’.
In recent months they have focussed on specific projects – Ms Trump pushing to expand child tax credit and paid family leave, Mr Kushner pursuing prison reform and a plan for peace in the Middle East.
Ms Trump recently closed her business and the pair’s children are reportedly at school in Washington – both taken as signs that they are committing long-term to the White House.
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