Critics of Ivanka Trump have accused her of being complicit in her father’s decisions.
On Tuesday, the first daughter responded to criticism that she has not used — and will not use — her influence in the White House to keep her father in check and temper his agenda and actions.
“If being complicit is wanting to, is wanting to be a force of good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit,” she said in an interview with CBS News. “I don’t know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any differently than I am doing.”
She added: “I don’t know what it means to be complicit. But you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and, much more importantly, that my father’s administration is the success I know it will be.”
Shortly after the interview, scores of people began looking up the word “complicit” online, according to Merriam-Webster, which defines the word as “helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way.”
Look-ups also spiked last month after a “Saturday Night Live” sketch used the word “complicit” as the name of a fictional new fragrance.
In the sketch, Ivanka Trump, played by actress Scarlett Johansson, stars in a commercial featuring her perfume “Complicit.”
“A woman like her deserves a fragrance all her own. A scent made just for her. Because she’s beautiful. She’s powerful. She’s — complicit,” a narrator said as Johansson-as-Trump, decked in gold, walks into a room.
Then she puts on lipstick as she stands in front of a mirror. Her reflection: Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump.
“A feminist, an advocate, a champion for women. But, like, how?” the narrator continues. “She’s loyal. Devoted. But probably should’ve bounced after the whole ‘Access Hollywood’ bus thing.”
The skit ends with Johansson-as-Ivanka hurrying to leave: “Complicit, the fragrance for the woman who can stop all this, but won’t.”
In the CBS interview, Trump, who has a new role as an unpaid White House employee, argued that not publicly disagreeing with her father does not mean she doesn’t do so in private.
“So where I disagree with my father, he knows it, and I express myself with total candor,” Trump said. “Where I agree, I fully lean in and support the agenda and hope that I can be an asset to him and make a positive impact. But I respect the fact that he always listens.”
In a statement announcing her unpaid West Wing position, after initially saying that she would remain an informal adviser to her father, Trump said she’s working with the White House to address “the unprecedented nature” of her role.
“I want to add positive and meaningful value and people will be able to judge with time if I’ve been successful in that goal,” she said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Merriam-Webster has been busy writing no-so-subtle tweets to troll President Trump and his administration.
In the past year, the dictionary company has been using humor and pointed tweets to respond to current events and engage with its followers.
“Good morning! The #WordOfTheDay is…not ‘unpresidented’. We don’t enter that word. That’s a new one,” says a December tweet linked to a dictionary article on the definition of the word “HUH.”
It was in response to Trump’s use of the misspelled word in a tweet sent during the early morning hours of Dec. 17. The tweet was later deleted and replaced with the same message, with “unprecedented” spelled correctly.
In February 2016, the dictionary mocked Trump by trying to define several misspelled words the then-presidential candidate wrote in a tweet.
A year later, Merriam-Webster tweeted a definition of the word “feminism” after Kellyanne Conway, the president’s counselor, said that being a feminist was associated with being “anti-male” and “pro-abortion.”