Ivanka Trump

Olivier Douliery/Sipa USA

Ivanka Trump Addresses Family Separations, Father's Remarks About Media

August 02, 2018 - 5:19 pm
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WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/CBS News/AP) -- Ivanka Trump seems to be breaking from her father on some controversial issues.

Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser, spoke Thursday morning at an event hosted by Axios . Among her remarks was that the separations of parents and children at the border were a "low point" for her.

“Ivanka said that she is very vehemently against family separation, which is definitely the strongest she’s come out publicly against the Trump administration’s practice of separating migrant families at the border, and of course, this comes as the administration has made pretty significant steps in reuniting those families already,” Axios reporter Stef Kight told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Tanya Hansen Thursday.

President Trump has said publicly that Ivanka Trump and the first lady spoke to him about the administration's practice of separating children and families at the border, which Trump was ultimately forced to end with an executive order. Many families, however, remain separated, and scores of parents were deported without their children. 

Axios’ Mike Allen pointed out that the separation of families was a low point for a lot of colleagues at the White House. 

"Yes that was a low point for me as well," she responded. "I feel very strongly about that and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children so I would agree with that sentiment. I think immigration is incredibly complex as a topic. Illegal immigration is incredibly complicated."

"I am a daughter of an immigrant," she continued. "My mother grew up in communist Czech Republic but we are a country of laws so you know she came to this country legally and we have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone. So it is, these are not easy issues. These are incredibly difficult issues and like the rest of the country there are - I experienced them in a very emotional way."

The eldest Trump daughter parted ways with her father over the media. Trump has declared the media the "enemy of the American people," and frequently uses more glowing terms for leaders like North Korea's Kim Jong Un or Russian President Vladimir Putin than American journalists. 

Asked if she thinks the media is the enemy of the people, Ivanka Trump responded, "No, I don't."

Elaborating, she explained, "No I don't. I mean I certainly – I certainly have – I can share my own personal perspective. I've certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate. So I know I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe especially when they're sort of feel targeted but no I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people."

“It was sort of a funny exchange,” Kight said. “Ivanka first didn’t hear what he asked, and the crowd laughed, but eventually, she said no, she does not think that the media is the enemy of the people, which is, of course, a phrase that the president often uses to describe the press.”

President Trump responded to the exchange on Twitter, distinguishing the media from “FAKE NEWS.”

Kight noted that Ivanka Trump also addressed paid family leave, an issue that she has focused on passionately for some time.

“Btu she’s also not very hopeful that anything will happen on this front. She said it won’t happen in this Congress, because it would have to take some work between the two parties – Republicans and Democrats in Congress – and that’s not been likely to happen these days,” Kight said. “So while it’s something that she thinks is very important, and that she says the U.S. is one of the only developed nations to not have a policy on this, she does not seem very optimistic about the chances of a policy for paid family leave.”

(© 2018 WCBS 880. CBS News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)