Just Asking: Ivanka Trump on D.C., the Old Post Office, and her father and the presidency


(Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post)
Writer and editor

Ivanka Trump, 32, is a businesswoman, designer, developer, writer, television star and former model. As an executive vice president with the Trump Organization, she is helping head the redevelopment of the Old Post Office Building into a luxury Trump International hotel.

People often wonder what it’s like to be rich. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be poor?

Joe Heim joined The Post in 1999. He is currently a staff writer for the Metro section's Local Enterprise team. He also writes Just Asking, a weekly Q&A column in the Sunday magazine and is the paper's resident Downton Abbey expert. View Archive

Of course. I think part of being a human being is that you have to have empathy for what people are experiencing around you and around the world. Certainly I grew up with unbelievable privilege and surrounded by people who were fortunate and blessed as well. But I also spent a lot of time traveling the world, and certainly that’s not the case in most places you go. And truthfully, that’s not the case in most places you go here in the United States. I recognize that with the privilege I’ve been afforded I have a lot of responsibility to give back, and that’s a priority to me.

You went to Georgetown for a couple of years. Did you like living here?

I loved it. I love D.C. I think it’s an unbelievable city. It’s got such spirit. In some ways it’s actually not as well branded as it should be. Obviously D.C. is considered one of the great cities in the United States and the world, but it’s not often considered as a particularly youthful city, and I think that’s a component people overlook. It’s got an unbelievable youthful energy to it.

What feature of the Post Office building project interests you the most?

Everything. The location is not replicable. You realize its unbelievable significance being on the country’s main street, right between the White House and the Capitol. The asset itself is breathtaking. This is not something you could build today.

The building is on Pennsylvania Avenue, and renovation is expected to be completed for Inauguration Day in 2017. Who would you like to see as president in that parade?

I’m going to reserve that answer. [Laughs.] It’s too soon.

Your father has always been well known and has welcomed attention and publicity. Do you ever roll your eyes even a tiny bit at things he says or tweets?

As a daughter, of course there are times when I don’t 100 percent share his views. I mean, I’m a person. What I love about him is that he says everything with conviction, and no one has ever accused him of being contrived or insincere.

Do you think he should run for president?

As a citizen, I do. I think we’d be fortunate to have him as a president. I think he’s a remarkable person. As a daughter, it’s much more complicated. But as a voter, we should be so lucky.

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