The Corner

Politics & Policy

Ivanka in the White House

The Times has another piece on White House intrigue, this time with a heavy emphasis on Ivanka’s role:

Some colleagues, including Mr. Bannon and Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, regard Mr. Kushner’s breathtaking list of assignments with comic contempt, according to a dozen Trump associates who insisted on anonymity to discuss Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump. After Mr. Kushner’s trip to Iraq, White House aides referred to him as the “secretary of state.”

But they are warier of Ms. Trump, who only recently arrived in the West Wing and until now has been a more sporadic player than her ambitious husband. Initially resistant to a formal role in the administration, Ms. Trump took an office and a government position — albeit, like her husband, without accepting a salary — out of concern over the troubles of her father’s first couple of months in office.

According to associates, she views her role partly as guardian of the family reputation and has fretted during and since the campaign about the long-term damage to the family business’s image that her father’s political career could cause.

And there’s this more specifically on her and Bannon: 

Ms. Trump has never been close to Mr. Bannon, although she appreciated the ferocity of his work, people close to her said. She puts him in the category of colorful, rough-hewed characters her father collects, with the likes of Roger Stone, a longtime Trump operative.

In recent weeks, she has spoken bluntly about Mr. Bannon’s shortcomings to the president. She was especially incensed by articles she believed were planted by Mr. Bannon’s allies suggesting he, not her father, honed the populist economic message that helped sweep the Midwest. She made that point in the strongest terms to her father, who agreed, according to a family friend.

The worry of the Trump children over the effect his administration might have on their future business represents a strange and unprecedented dynamic in a White House; it also seems to be expressing itself in a desire for less chaotic, more “normal” government. As for Bannon, it sounds like he’s going to stay on for now–it makes much more sense to try to influence Trump from inside the White House than from the outside.


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