Thursday 8 December 2016

Ivanka Trump praises 'honest' father for 'elevating' political discussion

Harriet Alexander in New York

Published 14/05/2016 | 02:30

Forbes Media Executive Vice President Moira Forbes and businesswoman Ivanka Trump
Forbes Media Executive Vice President Moira Forbes and businesswoman Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump attends the 2016 Forbes Women's Summit at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on May 12, 2016 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images
Ivanka Trump speaks onstage during the 2016 Forbes Women's Summit at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York. Photo: Getty Images

Donald Trump's daughter has launched a robust defence of her father, describing him as a man who has "elevated" the political discussion, but confessing that she didn't discuss the election with her friend Chelsea Clinton.

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"He's honest," she said, speaking at a Forbes magazine summit for women in New York. "With him, what you see is what you get - even if you don't like the topic. I think people respect the fact that he is bold enough. That is something we have never seen in politics."

And, despite his rhetoric about Muslims, Mexicans and women horrifying many even within the Republican Party, she paid tribute to her combative father for setting the tone for the campaign.

"He has elevated - he has created a dialogue around issues, which really is a powerful thing," she said.

"When you think about leadership it's setting the agenda, and he has set the agenda on all the issues that were discussed. And I think that is quite powerful."

Ms Trump, who gave birth to her third child six weeks ago, admitted that the vitriol directed at her family could be painful.

Ivanka Trump speaks onstage during the 2016 Forbes Women's Summit at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York. Photo: Getty Images
Ivanka Trump speaks onstage during the 2016 Forbes Women's Summit at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York. Photo: Getty Images

When Mr Trump made his comments in June about Mexicans being "rapists" her Instagram account was flooded with abuse, including one man saying: "I hope El Chapo kidnaps you and your daughter."

She said: "On a human level, on a personal level, it can be very difficult and challenging -especially when it's wrong. And it often is wrong. The positions are often taken by people who don't know him.

"But I'm pretty thick-skinned."

Mr Trump has described his daughter, known for her diplomacy and elegance, as his most trusted adviser. She is currently executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization, meaning that she is charged with the domestic and global expansion of the company's property interests. She also has her own jewellery and accessories range.

"He is someone who has been an incredible parent for me," she said. "An incredible mentor to me, as a parent, and also for the past decade having worked alongside him.

"I've seen him as an executive inspire the team, set a vision, give people the freedom to reform but always watching them and ensuring the vision for the company is being carried out correctly.

"It's hard. I've been incredibly impressed by his leadership. I think his leadership is now being shown on a larger scale."

She said he was now "100 per cent" focused on politics, but said him being the presumptive Republican nominee came as no surprise to her. But when asked whether she had given any thought to living in the White House, she flatly replied: "No."

With her husband, newspaper publisher Jared Kushner, she is part of a glossy yet discreet set of wealthy New Yorkers - a group that includes Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter Chelsea. The pair, both working mothers to young children, are firm friends.

"We're both children who love our parents and are very supportive of our parents," she said, when asked whether the bruising campaign between their parents had dented their friendship.

"So for us there is not so much nuance. We are not navigating the friendship. We view ourselves as our own people. And that is separate from the politics."(© Daily Telegraph London)

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