Former president Donald Trump was indicted in Manhattan on Thursday over hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign to kill the story of their alleged affair. Presumably Ivanka Trump has some thoughts, as most Americans carry an opinion about this historic development, and Donald Trump happens to be her father and former White House boss. But you wouldn’t know it from the statement Ivanka posted to her Instagram Stories midday Friday.
These 27 words should be taught in public-relations courses. Is Ivanka denouncing Donald Trump? No, it says right there: “I love my father.” Okay, so she agrees with her brother Eric that this is “third-world prosecutorial misconduct” that proves America has gone off the rails? Maybe, maybe not? Is she “pained” for her father because he’s being unfairly persecuted, or for her country because our former president is a crook who must be brought to justice? Unclear. All we know for sure is that Ivanka appreciates “the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern” — which could mean Marjorie Taylor Greene, or the Krassenstein brothers, or both.
Ivanka might as well have said, “Hello. I’m here as a fellow human to acknowledge that Donald Trump has, as we know, been indicted. Trump was a man. Also, he was president of the United State for four years. And when a person is indicted, it is sad.”
Of course, in a broader sense, we all know exactly what Ivanka’s statement means: To quote Taylor Swift, “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.”
In November, Ivanka announced (also in an Instagram Story) that she will have nothing to do with her father’s political career going forward. And there have been sporadic signs that she really means it, like this quote a “social source” randomly gave to People magazine a day before the Trump indictment:
“Even though Ivanka loves her dad, she knows how impossible he can be,” a social source tells PEOPLE — though another person close to the former first daughter alleges there is no tension in their father-daughter relationship, and that she’s simply focused on raising her children and building a life in Miami.
The initial source says that 41-year-old Ivanka “is recreating her business life and raising her children which are her priorities. She is through with politics.”
Now Ivanka’s decision to distance herself from her father looks smarter than ever. Since she’s officially no longer serving as a political adviser to her father, no one really expected her to proclaim her father’s innocence in over-the-top public statements on Thursday night. But Don Jr. had to go on Truth Social and fret about politicians trying to lock up their opponents:
Eric had to go on Hannity and lament that New York prosecutors are going after billionaire politicians rather than people so poor they have to steal Tylenol.
And Melania Trump had to very publicly dine with her husband at Mar-a-Lago hours after the indictment news broke to signal to the world that she’s not stressed about her husband being charged with crimes related to cheating on her while she was pregnant.
If this news had dropped a few years ago, Ivanka probably would have spent the night sharing an extremely awkward meal with her father and stepmother. But today she’s a whole new Ivanka, even if her PR strategy regarding her father isn’t entirely novel. As of late Friday afternoon, Tiffany Trump still hadn’t commented on the indictment, but barely anyone even noticed. “As she rarely speaks publicly, her silence was not unusual,” the New York Times noted.