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Born Trump

by Michael Brendan Dougherty

In the White House, Ivanka aspires ─ but to what?

Just barely 21 years old, Ivanka Trump made her first real impression on the world when she was featured in the surprise-hit documentary Born Rich. It was a cult classic of sorts, obsessed over by people of the same age as its subjects, particularly those obsessors who entered media. Some heirs and heiresses in this doc spoke crassly about prenups or enjoying the pettiness that wealth afforded them: “I’m from New York. I can buy your family — piss off!” was a particularly memorable line. But Ivanka Trump was a model of restraint, even filial piety. From the perspective of a father who was a notorious womanizer, who had gone through an ugly divorce and associated the family name with billions of dollars of debt, daughter Ivanka nailed that first line of her public life: “No matter what I hear about my parents, my family, no matter what I read, the fact is that I am absolutely proud to be a Trump . . . and I’m proud of everything they’ve done and ever accomplished.”

Ivanka has played the part of character witness ever since. At the Republican National Convention last summer, she cited Trump’s personal works of generosity and told the world he practiced “wage equality” between the sexes in his business. She never cracks in her role as her father’s great defender. And that is presumably why she, alone among her siblings, is now such a close adviser to the president. She won’t even hint at her private disagreements with her father. “This isn’t about promoting my viewpoints,” she told an inquiring Gayle King when asked to name a time she disagreed with dear old Dad.

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