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Wednesday 22 May 2019

Ivanka Trump thanks father for border action

President Donald Trump confided that his daughter urged him to find a solution.

Donald Trump with daughter Ivanka (PA)
Donald Trump with daughter Ivanka (PA)

By Associated Press Reporters

Presidential adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump has broken her days-long silence about the forced separations of migrant families, tweeting thanks to President Donald Trump for “taking critical action” to end the separations at the border.

In a closed-door meeting with Republicans late on Tuesday, President Donald Trump confided that his daughter urged him to find a solution.

But despite days of images of children being pulled from their immigrant parents, she stayed publicly quiet until Mr Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order designed to keep families together.

Then the first daughter tweeted, “Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border,” and called on Congress to “find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values.”

Still, Ivanka Trump’s conspicuous silence drew criticism as outrage mounted over the separations.

It was not the first time that Ivanka Trump, as well as her husband and fellow influential presidential adviser, Jared Kushner, had tried to fly under the radar during crisis and tumult in her father’s administration.

Mr Kushner has been in the Middle East working on the administration’s peace plan while news filled with emotional photos of children in cages and audio of kids crying for their parents at the Mexican border.

Ivanka Trump was in California this week, getting heckled on her way to a fundraiser for Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy.

After Mr Trump’s Capitol Hill meeting, Representative Carlos Curbelo said the president “mentioned that his daughter Ivanka encouraged him to end this. And he said that he does recognise that it needs to end, that the images are painful”.

As he signed the executive order on Wednesday, Mr Trump stressed that he had heard from his daughter, saying, “Ivanka feels very strongly” and “I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it. We don’t like to see families separated.”

President Donald Trump holds up the executive order he signed to end family separations at the border (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Ivanka Trump had made calls to congressional leaders, advocating for a fix. She was at a meeting on Wednesday between Trump and politicians at the White House.

Her prolonged silence was the latest example of the challenges and calculations faced by the first daughter as she seeks to promote a family-friendly agenda in an administration focused on hard-line immigration tactics and protectionist trade policies.

First lady Melania Trump weighed in more quickly, with her office issuing a statement over the weekend saying she “hates” to see families separated at the border.

On Wednesday, a White House official said she “has been making her opinion known” to her husband that he needs to do all he can to keep migrant families together.

After her father took office, Ivanka Trump said she aimed to “be a force for good and to make a positive impact” in her White House role.

Throughout her time in the administration, she has sought to position herself above the fray, arguing in interviews that her focus is on policy and that she is more effective working behind the scenes if she disagrees with her father.

While liberal critics have expressed frustration that she has not done more to temper her father’s conservative agenda, Ivanka Trump has made clear that she sees limitations to her role.

“I came here with specific areas I could add value,” she said last year in an AP interview. “In the areas I don’t agree, I state my opinion.”

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