Ever since President Donald Trump’s stunning press conference Tuesday, in which he defended participants at white-supremacist-led rallies in Charlottesville, Va., the public has waited to hear from Ivanka Trump, the president’s favorite child, close advisor and closest family member who is Jewish.
Supposedly still sequestered on a brief holiday with her husband Jared Kushner in Vermont, Ivanka has stayed silent on the matter of her father’s response to the rallies, which turned violent and left a 32-year-old woman dead. Ivanka refused to say anything to major news outlets when asked to comment on Trump’s combative press conference in the lobby of Trump Tower.
Ivanka even stayed silent after news broke that a head rabbi at the New York City synagogue she and Jared attend denounced her father’s remarks.
In a letter to his congregation Wednesday, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who oversaw Ivanka’s conversion to Judaism in 2009 before she married Jared, said the congregation was “deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence.”
In the press conference, Ivanka’s father portrayed participants in the Unite the Right rallies as a mostly benign force and repeatedly said that counter-protesters, demonstrating against racism, were equally culpable for street skirmishes that paralyzed the city.
On Thursday morning, Ivanka Trump finally broke her silence. But what she said had nothing to do with Charlottesville.
Rather, in her first public statement since Tuesday, she tweeted out congratulations to her “talented friend” Hope Hicks on being named the new White House communications director. “I know she will do an amazing job!”
Congratulations to my talented friend & colleague Hope Hicks on being named WH Communications Director. I know she will do an amazing job!
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 17, 2017
Hicks, a 28-year-old former teen model, is one of Trump’s rarely seen but longest-serving and most fiercely loyal aides, NPR reported. On Wednesday, she was named interim White House communications director, filling the position left vacant by Anthony Scaramucci after his 10-day tenure.
Ivanka’s previous attempt Sunday — via Twitter — to address the Charlottesville violence didn’t go so well. In.a two-part tweet, she said there there is no place in our society for “racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.” Those words were all well and good for many public figures to say in response to the crisis. But Ivanka is not like other public figures.
Her tweets tweets served to remind people of Trump’s initially equivocating response, on which he doubled-down on Tuesday; of his friendliness to white nationalist groups and ideas; and of concerns that she continues to play a role in enabling her father’s worst qualities. Users said they wanted to hear Trump say those words, not his daughter.
On Thursday, the responses to her tweet on Hope Hicks showed people still angry and challenging her to specifically to address whether or not she agrees with her father.
In a sampling of comments, many expressed anger and disbelief that she was trying to avoid the issue:
I know you’ve been on vaycay, but are you aware that your dad has become an ardent apologist of white supremacist ideology & anti-Semitism?
— GabyA (@GabrielaArana70) August 17, 2017
Wow, thats your first tweet since returning from vacation?! That’s all that’s on your mind, I guess. Anything else you’d care to say?
— Katie Sox (@ksox135) August 17, 2017
When are you going to stand up for Jewish values and demand your father call out Nazis ?
— Brandon Reynolds (@BranReynolds48) August 17, 2017
Other users wrote that her silence shows support and even complicity in her father’s positions:
You have nothing to say about your father’s comments? Your silence makes u complicit. Those who fail to condemn, support by lack of action.
— Sarcastic Bastard (@sarcastcbastard) August 17, 2017
Congratulations to you for not standing up to racism. True colors coming out real nice