Wednesday 13 December 2017

'My father knows what women want' claims Trump daughter Ivanka

Ivanka Trump Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Harriet Alexander

Donald Trump has released the first campaign adverts staring his daughter Ivanka as his team scrambles to boost his support among women and recover from a week dominated by his war with a Miss Universe contestant.

The new adverts involve Ivanka Trump - an entrepreneur herself who is seen by many to be one of Mr Trump's greatest assets - discussing his childcare policies and the importance of motherhood.

They came as a new poll by Fox News showed Hillary Clinton, his Democrat rival for the presidency, benefiting from a three-point bounce after Monday night's debate in which a rattled Trump failed to provide cohesive arguments, struggled with the microphone, and left many viewers confused as to where he stood.

In the closing minutes of the debate Clinton startled the billionaire by reminding him how he had called Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe, "Miss Housekeeping" - a dig at her Venezuelan origins - and "Miss Piggy," accusing her of putting on weight.

The 70-year-old businessman has long struggled to win over female voters, and Friday's poll put Clinton ahead with women by 20 points.

"The most important job any woman can have is being a mother," Ivanka Trump says in the spot, which will be broadcast in swing states this week.

"And it shouldn't mean taking a pay cut," she adds as the video shows mothers playing with their children. She then proceeds to discuss her father's proposed policies, including paid maternity leave and tax credits for child care. The US and Papua New Guinea are the only countries in the world not to guarantee paid maternity leave.

"Donald Trump understands the needs of a modern workforce. My father will change outdated labour laws so that they support women and American families," she says. "He will provide tax credits for child care, paid maternity leave, and dependent care savings accounts. This will allow women to support their families and further their careers."

Despite Ivanka's best efforts, however, her father seems unable to help himself.

Following Clinton's coup at the debate in bringing up Alicia Machado, Trump hit back in the early hours of Friday - around 3am - launching a Twitter tirade against the former beauty queen, describing her as "disgusting" and referencing a "sex tape."

Machado did appear on a Spanish reality television show, and grainy night-time footage from 2000 shows her having sex. She also posed in sultry, but not pornographic, magazines. But there is no evidence of a "sex tape" existing.

The Republican candidate's woes did not end there. On Friday Buzzfeed obtained a Playboy video from 2000 - featuring Mr Trump. He promised in August to crack down on pornography, yet in the video he appears - fully clothed - alongside Peruvian twins on a tour of America, most of which they seem to spend naked, covering each other in honey, and posing in sexual positions.

"Beauty is beauty, and let's see what happens with New York," Mr Trump says in the film, Playboy Video Centerfold, as he sprays champagne on a Playboy limo.

In an interview with the New York Times published yesterday, Trump risked further alienating women by announcing that he plans to attack Clinton for her husband's infidelities.

When asked about his own - the thrice-married billionaire was still married to Ivanka's mother Ivana when he began a relationship with Marla Maples - he dodged the question. "No. I never discuss it. I never discuss it. It was never a problem," he said.

Mr Trump accused Mr Clinton of having had numerous indiscretions that "brought shame onto the presidency, and Hillary Clinton was there defending him all along."

Mr Trump's aides are concerned that his referencing Mr Clinton's affairs is a risky strategy that may hurt his ratings with women even more. Mrs Clinton's campaign described him this week as "unhinged."

Last week, businessman Denis O'Brien was attacked by Trump for his support for Hillary Clinton.

The Republican candidate issued a press statement summarising a number of newspaper articles about Mr O'Brien under the headline 'Follow The Money', which Trump has used several times during his campaign while trying to link the Clintons to big business.

Denis O'Brien, who is the largest shareholder in Independent News and Media, is listed as having made donations totalling between US$10m-$25m to the Clinton Foundation as of June 2016.

Among the articles were references to the outcome of the Moriarty Tribunal, which investigated how Mr O'Brien secured a mobile phone licence for his company Esat Digifone and several links to articles which describe his relationship with Independent TD and former Fine Gael minister Michael Lowry.

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