The princess’s once-in-a-lifetime experience

What I keep saying. Princess Ivanka’s silence speaks volumes.

Ivanka Trump wants it both ways.

Since joining her father’s White House as a senior adviser in early 2017, the first daughter has reserved the right to toggle between a strict and loose construction of her portfolio. When flashy opportunities arise—such as the chance to play diplomat with Kim Jong Un—the edges of her purview, which she often defines as “women’s economic empowerment,” become conveniently blurry. But when the issue du jour is particularly messy, she is quick to clarify its limits, thus absolving herself of accountability for problems that exist outside it. When The View’s Abby Huntsman, for example, asked Trump in February why she didn’t speak up about family separations along the U.S.-Mexico border, she objected that she is “not president of all women’s issues.”

But she totally does get to try to insert herself into a conversation among May, Lagarde, Macron and Trudeau as if she were somehow on the same level of the status chart as they are.

Both the border crisis and President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack are the kinds of events that many Americans feared, however vaguely, would take place in a Trump presidency. They also represent the kind of moment in which many people, reasonably or not, once assumed his elder daughter would intervene. As I wrote in April, the founding myth of Ivanka Trump is that she would prove a moderating force in her father’s White House. This myth was born, in large part, out of a collective assumption about how her status as a wealthy, liberal Manhattanite would affect the administration’s agenda.

I never shared that assumption, or even understood where it came from. She campaigned for him. What more do you need to know? She’s part of his administration; she intrudes on official events as much as she can get away with; she has stayed part of his administration through this whole shitshow. What more do you need to know?

She uses her putative portfolio as a shield.

The thinking, according to her current and former colleagues: You wouldn’t seek out comment from the presidential adviser Stephen Miller, who is closely associated with immigration policy, about, say, the White House’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Why, then, would you ask [Ivanka] Trump, if the issue doesn’t fall under her purview?

Because Stephen Miller is not Trump’s daughter and favorite child, and Ivanka Trump is. Because Miller is just another employee but Princess Ivanka is an illegal nepotistic corrupt family member. Because Miller doesn’t claim to be anything but a venomous racist, but Princess Ivanka does.

[Interjecting: it’s an annoying nuisance that pieces on Ivanka Trump call her Trump after the first mention even though they’re talking about her father at the same time. That’s stupidly confusing.]

At no time was this dynamic more obvious than earlier this month, when it was revealed that Trump, along with her husband and fellow senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had joined President Trump in meeting with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone, a conversation that included discussions about, among other topics, nuclear weapons. It is unclear, to put it mildly, how North Korea’s nuclear program dovetails with her work on women’s economic empowerment on the Ivory Coast, which her team insists is her biggest priority.

There was once a time when even if Trump was unable to succeed as a conscience-check on this White House, she wanted to seem like she was trying all the same. But as the events of recent weeks—her eagerness to participate in historic photo ops, her refusal to wade into things murkier—lay bare, even that pretense has dissolved. “Maybe she’s coming more to grips with the fact that she’s tied forever to everything that happens in there, and it’s not even worth trying to distance herself from it all anymore,” posited a second former senior White House official, who also requested anonymity.

Is she coming to grips with the fact that she’s a greedy corrupt narcissistic shit just as her father is?

Multiple people close to Trump have told me that she speaks of her time in the White House as “sand in an hourglass,” a race to “make the most” of a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” before it slips away.

Yeah, that’s what it’s all about, an Excellent Adventure for Princess Ivanka. I hope the hourglass falls off the desk soon.

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