Should the women who have accused the president of sexual misconduct be believed? That’s a question that his elder daughter and White House senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, believes she should not be asked.
“I think it’s a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter if she believes the accusers of her father when he’s affirmatively stated that there’s no truth to it,” Trump told NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander in an interview that aired on NBC’s “Today” this morning.
Trump had been in South Korea since Friday, leading the U.S. delegation at the Winter Olympics. In a wide-ranging interview there Sunday, Alexander asked her, “Do you believe your father’s accusers?”
“I don’t think that’s a question you would ask many other daughters,” she said. “I believe my father. I know my father. So, I think I have that right as a daughter to believe my father.”
Trump’s suggestion that she be spared the question faced pushback online from journalists and others, who noted that she not only led the U.S. delegation for the closing ceremony of the Olympics, but has also positioned herself as a voice for women’s issues inside the White House.
Some conservatives, in the meantime, suggested that her dismissal of the question was akin to one offered by Chelsea Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, when asked whether her father’s sex scandal had affected her mother’s credibility.
In the NBC interview, Trump also said that she had not yet been interviewed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, but that she believed Mueller could be trusted. She also repeated the White House’s denials that her father’s presidential campaign had colluded with Moscow.
“Consistently we have said there was no collusion,” she said. “There was no collusion. And we believe that Mueller will do his work and reach that same conclusion.”
Trump also appeared to diverge slightly from her father, who, in response to the fatal shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, this month, had suggested that arming some teachers could improve school safety.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” she said. “I think that having a teacher who is armed, who cares deeply about her students, or his students, and who is capable and qualified to bear arms is not a bad idea, but it’s an idea that needs to be discussed.”