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Ivanka Trump’s conflict with Melania Trump over White House office exposed

5 min read

US Election: Ivanka Trump makes speech at rally in Wisconsin

The First Lady reportedly confronted Ivanka for essentially stealing her office when Donald Trump first moved into the White House. With just five days to go until Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th US President, tensions are rising over whether Mr Trump will do something outrageous in his final days in office. All eyes are on Washington DC, where Ivanka has been working as a senior adviser to the President for the past four years.

Reports emerged this week that, despite Mr Trump saying he would not attend the inauguration, Ivanka is planning to, although it has now been claimed children of former presidents are not always invited.

It has also come out that, during the time she was a senior adviser to the President, secret service agents were not allowed to use Ivanka’s house to go to the toilet while they were on duty, and so a $3000/month (£2200/month) flat had to be rented nearby for them to use.

Meanwhile, Melania has been criticised for her silence in the wake of the violence in Washington DC.

Ivanka and Melania are two people who have been by the President’s side through everything, although they have not always seen eye to eye.

In fact, their first confrontation of the presidency came early when plans for the East Wing, which are usually overseen by the First Lady, were seized by Ivanka, who assigned the corner office as the ‘Trump Family Office’.

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She also gave herself a large personal office in the West Wing and did not assign Melania to any office at all.

At the time, Melania had not yet arrived in DC, as she had decided to stay behind in New York for a few months so that her son Barron Trump could finish his school year there.

When she arrived that summer, she quickly “put her foot down” and scrapped Ivanka’s plan, according to Vicky Ward in ‘Kushner Inc’.

The author wrote: “Ivanka had, initially, been overseeing plans for the East Wing, ordinarily the First Lady’s job.

“Two transition officials saw the plans upon which Ivanka, or someone acting on her behalf, had stencilled in the corner office of the East Wing as ‘Trump Family Office’.

“The transition officials were surprised that the First Lady did not appear to have an office.

“So, too, was Melania Trump who quickly put an end to Ivanka’s scheming.”

Two sources confirmed to Ms Ward that Ivanka was told to “back off” and after that there was no more talk of the ‘Trump Family Office’.

While Melania’s delayed move to the White House broke convention, she still managed to end Ivanka’s attempts to edge her out of an office when she did arrive.

Nevertheless, Ivanka ‒ dubbed the First Daughter due to her unprecedented position in her father’s administration ‒ still managed to wrangle an office in the West Wing that was surprisingly large for someone with such a vague role.

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At the time, she was still insisting that she would not be joining the administration in an official capacity, and even said as much on CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’.

However, this is not what it looked like to the transition team, after she took her West Wing office and hired a team of three people.

Among those in her team was Risa Heller, a Kushner Companies spokeswoman, who had previously worked for New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.

Just two months after President Trump’s inauguration, Ivanka was appointed senior adviser to the President.

In this role, Ivanka has taken on some of the issues that are traditionally in the remit of the First Lady, according to CNN, such as those involving women, child care credit and female entrepreneurship.

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A CNN commentator claimed the pair have an “odd dynamic” and that Ivanka often steps in when Melania is not making a First Lady appearance.

For example, Ivanka has spoken at Make America Great Again rallies in support of her father during a time slot which might have been taken by the First Lady ordinarily.

One source told the broadcaster the pair have a “cordial, but not close dynamic, and at times, friction”.

In many ways, the two mirror each other and could even be viewed as sharing the First Lady role.

After Melania went on her first solo trip abroad to Africa in 2018, a few months later Ivanka went on her first solo trip, also to Africa.

Both have claimed to advise the President and be candid in their opinions with him, although they will not usually reveal on which issues they have disagreed on.

To many, Ivanka’s role in the White House continued to be vague even after she was assigned an official role.

When asked exactly what she does, Ivanka said: “I’ve been predominantly focused on pro-growth policies, whether it be enabling an environment that encourages companies to invest and grow and flourish in the US.

“Or it’s the policies that build upon that foundational environment ‒ tax cuts, regulation ‒ and ensure pathways for all Americans to be able to secure great-paying careers in this booming economy.”

In the light of recent events, Ivanka has been criticised for calling the rioters on Capitol Hill “patriots”, even as she asked them to withdraw.

Melania, on the other hand, said nothing at all for a while.

When she finally raised her head, Melania made her complaints about a former friend at the top of the agenda.

She said: “I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me ‒ from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.

“This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens.

“It should not be used for personal gain.”

Kushner Inc. Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’ was written by Vicky Ward and published by St Martin’s Press in 2019. It is available here.

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