Ivanka Trump Completes a Political Evolution: ‘I’m a Proud Trump Republican’

WASHINGTON — She told the Fox News host Sean Hannity that refusing to celebrate President Trump’s America was “unforgivable” and tweeted angrily about the “ill-conceived” Senate impeachment trial.

She recently took the stage for the first time at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering of hard-core conservative activists.

And now she is officially a Republican.

Ivanka Trump’s transformation from a liberal New York socialite who donated to Democratic politicians and vocally supported gay rights to a card-carrying member of her father’s “Make America Great Again” coalition is now complete.

Ms. Trump said on Monday that she had made the decision to officially change her voter registration from Democrat to Republican because she wanted to vote for her father in the New York primary, something she did not do in 2016 when she missed the deadline to register as a Republican.

According to the New York City Board of Elections, Ms. Trump made the change on Oct. 22, 2018, just ahead of the midterm elections.

“I am a proud Trump Republican,” Ms. Trump said in an interview on Monday, discussing her political evolution and the role her father played in it. “I believe he’s broadened the reach of the Republican Party, which is really important to me.”

That the daughter who has never strayed far from her father’s side would officially register as a Republican might seem obvious. But it was a political shift from how Ms. Trump came into her West Wing role, when she was viewed more as a bridge to moderates because of her more progressive positions on issues like climate change, pay equity and parental leave.

Since then, she has become a prominent senior adviser to her father, focused on issues related to women in the workplace. Mr. Trump routinely, and falsely, tells crowds that his daughter alone is responsible for creating 15 million new jobs — more than twice the number of jobs that have been created since he took office in 2017.

As her father becomes increasingly engaged in his re-election campaign, Ms. Trump has made clear where she stands politically.

“I’m not going to speculate on the projections other people have cast upon me,” Ms. Trump said on Monday. “In areas outside of my portfolio, I tend to agree more with the more conservative viewpoint more often than where the Democrats are today,” she said, acknowledging that to be a shift from the beginning of her father’s presidency. She added, “No one person or party has a monopoly on good ideas.”

Ms. Trump, who made few public appearances for her father during his 2016 campaign, is set to embark on a four-city fund-raising swing at the end of March, with stops in Oklahoma; Austin, Texas; Naples, Fla.; and New York City, with the goal of raising millions of dollars for the re-election campaign from first-time donors.

Ms. Trump, according to campaign officials, has long been the most requested surrogate among donors, but until now has limited her appearances, which she has to make in her personal capacity and not as a government official. In the interview on Monday, Ms. Trump said she prided herself on being able to raise more money during a one-hour breakfast meeting than the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates.

“It’s probably more,” Ms. Trump said, comparing her fund-raising abilities to those of Joseph R. Biden Jr., a possible opponent of her father’s. As an example, she pointed to a rare donor event she headlined in Houston last November, where she said she raised $2 million in 45 minutes.

“It was pretty record-shattering,” she said.

Tickets for Ms. Trump’s upcoming fund-raising appearances, according to the invitations, range from $2,800 for one person to $50,000 per couple, which includes a photo op with Ms. Trump.

Her fund-raising trip is scheduled just days after the first lady, Melania Trump, another scarce presence on the campaign trail, is set to host fund-raisers for her husband in Palm Beach, Fla., and Beverly Hills, Calif.

“Whether it’s fund-raising, leadership or speaking directly to voters on the campaign trail, Ivanka Trump is an incredible asset for the Trump campaign,” said Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump campaign spokeswoman.

During her time as a White House adviser, Ms. Trump has rarely commented on the controversies swirling around her father. When pushed by reporters to address subjects she viewed as outside her lane, she has grown frustrated, sometimes calling the questions “inappropriate” and at other times insisting her role was not to air her disagreements in public.

But she is now taking on a political role.

Over the past few months, she has started using her Twitter feed to lash out at Democrats and has appeared at campaign events more clearly devised to appeal to Mr. Trump’s base. Ahead of the New Hampshire primary in February, for instance, Ms. Trump traveled to Portsmouth to participate in a “Cops for Trump” event.

Online, her persona has also become more aggressive and raw, a reflection of her own anger, aides said, over her father’s impeachment.

“This factional fever and incoherent, ill-conceived process has finally ended and the President has rightfully been acquitted,” Ms. Trump tweeted after the Senate impeachment trial ended. “POTUS has accomplished so much and is just getting started. The best is yet to come!”

On the day of her father’s acquittal, the woman who once used her popular Instagram account to show herself off as a not-quite-relatable working mother raising a young family posted a photograph of herself giving the signature Trumpian double thumbs-up in front of an American flag, wearing a USA hat. In a caption, she wrote that the portrait captured her “#Mood.”

In an interview with Mr. Hannity that same day, Ms. Trump further excoriated her father’s critics.

Ticking off a list of the administration’s actions, Ms. Trump asserted that “for us not to come together as a nation and celebrate America’s success is not forgivable.”

“And I think that’s why the viewers were watching today and realizing, and celebrating alongside the president, alongside the rest of this country what is happening,” she continued, “because we have completely changed the trajectory of this country.”

Despite her fund-raising ability, Ms. Trump said she had no plans to run for office in the future. “I really don’t,” she said, insisting that her end goal was to help re-elect her father.

“I was in the private sector and thriving,” she said. “We loved our lives. I knew that my father would empower me to help him accomplish his agenda. The opportunity to create positive impact is what drove me to move to Washington.”

Speculation about how long Ms. Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, would stick around Washington has dogged them since they moved into their mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood. But the couple has outlasted most of Mr. Trump’s senior White House advisers. These days, Mr. Kushner operates as a free-floating senior adviser who is also overseeing Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.

Mr. Kushner has also recently said publicly that he had become a Republican.

“I was not a Republican,” he told reporters at a recent campaign briefing. “Now I’m a Republican. I think the Republican Party is growing now that people like me feel comfortable being part of it.”

Ms. Trump declined to say which Democrat she would like to see face off against Mr. Trump in a general election. “I definitely wouldn’t tell you that,” she said, calling every candidate in the field “very unique.”

But, Ms. Trump said, she felt “good about our chances of beating all of them.”




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