Before her father threw his hat into the presidential ring in 2015, most people knew Ivanka Trump as the wealthy Trump daughter helping to run her father's business and who often made an appearance on The Apprentice. Now of course, she's so much more than that: Ivanka has an official White House role as an advisor to the president, and has been considered by some as a kind of unofficial First Lady. Ivanka opened up a little bit about her life in her much-criticized 2017 book, Women Who Work, according to NPR, but 6 surprising facts about Ivanka Trump show that, at the very least, she is not simply an extension of her controversial father.
There's no question that Ivanka Trump was a valuable asset to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. While he was so obviously rough around the edges, she always appeared so poised, an Instagram-perfect mom and wife who seemed to have a lot of influence over her father's opinions (leading many to hope that she might even be able to talk him out of pushing for some of his particularly offensive policies). Over a year into Trump's presidency though, and it's fair to say those hopes have mostly faded. But there are at least some lesser-known details about Trump's eldest daughter that suggest that perhaps she doesn't entirely agree with her father all of the time.
We're all well aware that Ivanka is young and beautiful and a former model, right? Because, uh, Trump always talks about it? But while her modelling days might not be a secret, it is pretty surprising to hear that, at one point, she was in the running to be The Bachelorette. In 2007, Ivanka — who at the time was serving as a guest judge on The Apprentice — told People that she'd "been offered tons of shows, [including] The Bachelorette." Ivanka turned it down however, because it didn't further her "objective of being a great real estate developer."
Yes, it might already be confusing that Ivanka's mother is Trump's similarly-named first wife, Ivana Trump. But according to Business Insider, Ivanka is actually just a nickname: her given name is actually Ivana too. In a tweet in December 2010, Ivanka explained that Ivanka is basically a less-formal version of Ivana, "like Bobby is to Robert."
Ivanka Trump obviously wasn't born into a Jewish family, but after meeting her Orthodox Jewish now-husband Jared Kushner in 2007, Ivanka converted to Judaism. And she takes her adopted faith seriously: in a 2015 interview with Vogue, Ivanka called her conversion "such a great life decision," and shared that she keeps Kosher and observes the Sabbath. In fact, in 2017, The Jerusalem Post named her the most influential Jew of the year, and called Ivanka and Kushner "the ultimate Jewish power couple."
It might be hard to believe now, given that her father continues to argue that Hillary Clinton is corrupt and a criminal, but according to CNN, in 2007, Ivanka actually donated to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. In a run-down of various celebrities who had come out in support of Clinton, CNN noted that Ivanka donated $1,000 to the campaign, as did Trump's second wife, Marla Maples, while Donald Trump Jr. gave $4,000.
But actually, it wasn't just his family: according to Politico, Trump and Trump Jr. made donations to Clinton "on separate occasions in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007, according to state and federal disclosure records," and POTUS has also donated around $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Although it's easy to argue this one given the fact that her father has come out in support of so-called religious freedom rights that will almost certainly restrict the rights of LGBTQ individuals, Ivanka herself claims to be a supporter of the LGBTQ community. In June 2017, for example, Ivanka tweeted, "I am proud to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans who have made immense contributions to our society and economy."
Encouraging, right? Well, maybe not so much: according to USA Today, Trump announced his plan to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military a little over a month later.
Honestly, having Ivanka — an unelected official — in the White House is extremely frustrating at times. After all, while it's often said that she's a moderating influence on her father and that she believes in being a champion for women and families, there isn't actually a whole lot of proof to suggest it's actually true. Regardless, it's still worth noting that she is allowed to be her own person, and that it was never really up to her to somehow magically make the Trump administration more progressive or inclusive.
In fact, all we really know for sure about Ivanka is that she grew up as the privileged daughter of a wealthy businessman in New York. And that even though she's now taken on a political role in Washington, it seems that her life hasn't really changed very much from what it used to be.
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