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Opinion Ivanka Trump might be the worst enabler of them all

President Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump spoke on Oct. 23 in Bucks County, Pa., about her father's tax reform plan. (Video: The Washington Post)

CNN reports:

Ivanka Trump spoke out for the first time against embattled Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenagers when he was in his early thirties. Her father, President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has largely stayed mum on the issue.
“There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” Trump told The Associated Press in an interview otherwise focused on tax reform published Wednesday.
“I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts,” the first daughter and presidential adviser said.

Really, Ivanka? Next time a news outlet snags an interview with her, it might ask:

  • Why can her father not bring himself to condemn Moore?
  • Would you urge Alabama voters to cast ballots for his opponent, Doug Jones?
  • Is there a “special place in hell” for a man who reportedly “entered the Miss Teen USA changing room where girls as young as 15 were in various states of undress” and bragged about such situations (“I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else”)?
  • Does that spot in hell have a spot for men who discuss their teenage daughter in creepy sexualized terms?
  • Would that spot in hell have room for a man who reportedly tells 14-year-olds that “in a couple of years I’ll be dating you”?
Post opinion writers Ruth Marcus, Jennifer Rubin and Quinta Jurecic discuss the political implications of the allegations against Roy Moore and Sen. Al Franken. (Video: The Washington Post)

Ivanka Trump knows that young women and men allegedly accosted and abused by powerful men in Hollywood (e.g. Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey) have come forward with detailed accounts. Criminal investigations have been launched, series and movies canceled, and careers ruined. So:

  • Is there also a special place in hell for powerful men who made crude sexual advances, grope women and use their status to quiet and defame their accusers?
  • Should those women be believed if their stories are detailed, consistent with known facts and collectively portray a pattern of behavior?

Ivanka Trump doesn’t like being called “complicit” in her father’s policy agenda. But her great sin is helping to vouch for and normalize her father’s character. His alleged predatory behavior — just as Roy Moore’s — should have disqualified him from office. And yet she helped convince voters that he was a terrific guy, a feminist even.

When the New York Times ran a report extensively documenting his treatment of women, Ivanka Trump was there to defend him:

“Most of the time, when stories are inaccurate, they’re not discredited and I will be frustrated by that. But in this case, I think they went so far,” Ivanka said. “… This is an article that is widely being discredited. The lead person who was interviewed — for the story and that the story opens up with — was all over the news yesterday, saying that they manipulated what she was saying. So you know, I don’t find it that meaningful to comment on this particular story because I think the facts are starting to speak for themselves.”
Ivanka also rejected a former colleague’s claim that she had been groped by Donald Trump during a business meeting.
“I’m not in every interaction my father has, but he’s not a groper. It’s not who he is,” she said. “And I’ve known my father obviously my whole life and he has total respect for women. He was promoting women in development and construction at a time when it was unheard of. There was no trend towards equality in the real estate and construction industry back in the 1980s. And he was doing it because he believes ultimately in merit.”


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In July 2016, she told the Sunday Times of London, “My father is a feminist. He’s a big reason I am the woman I am today.”

And in April this year in Germany, boos rained down on her when she insisted, “I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated, but I know from personal experience, and I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women. … As an adviser and as a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level knowing that he encouraged me and enabled me to thrive.”

Whether or not Ivanka Trump knows better, she has put herself forth to validate her father’s treatment of women and discredit accusers. She’s in no position now to lecture us on Moore, although if she’d like now to come clean on her father’s conduct and comment on his eternal punishment, she might recover some dignity and respect in the eyes of American women (and men, as well). Since that’s not happening, my advice to her is to make herself scarce. Her voice only reminds us of her unforgivable complicity in selling Trump to the voters.