First daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump gave a rare interview defending her use of a private email account for official government business in early 2017, insisting that she’s no Hillary Clinton and therefore everyone should chill.
Trump, who has long pretended the rules don’t apply to her, said her use of a personal account to discuss government policies, her official work schedule, and travel details was totally different from the scandal that plagued the former secretary of state during the 2016 presidential election.
“All of my emails are stored and preserved. There were no deletions. There is no attempt to hide,” she told ABC News, adding, “There’s no equivalency to what my father’s spoken about.” (The emails Clinton deleted were of personal nature and a FBI investigation cleared her of any wrongdoing.) Asked if her dad’s favorite “Lock her up!” chant should apply to her, Trump smiled before saying, “No.”
Regardless of her defense, both Democrats and Republicans said they’re likely to investigate her email use in the next Congress to find out if she complied with the Presidential Records Act and Federal Records Act. Her husband Jared Kushner and other senior White House officials came also under scrutiny in late 2017 for their use of private servers to conduct government business.
In the wide-ranging interview, Trump also touched on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, saying the probe should conclude. “I know the facts as they relate to me and my family, and so I have nothing to be concerned about,” she added. And when asked about the administration’s treatment of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, the first daughter echoed her father’s claims while also activating her moderating force chip.
“Your father has authorized lethal force, he says, ‘if necessary,'” ABC News’ Deborah Roberts asked Trump. “Does that concern you?” Trump seemed put off and responded, “I don’t believe that that’s what he said, but his primary role as the nation’s commander in chief is obviously to protect our nation’s borders. He has to protect our country’s security.” She scoffed and added: “But I don’t — lethal force, in this case would — that is not, I think, something that anyone’s talking about.” ABC News then showed her a clip of the president saying: “If they have to, they’ve got to use lethal force. I’ve given the OK, yeah. If they have to. I hope they don’t have to.”
Trump backtracked, responding: “Lethal force, under any circumstance, would be the last resort. But he is the commander in chief of the armed forces of this country, so he always has to be able to protect the border. He’s not talking about innocents. So he’s not talking about innocent asylum-seekers.”
Many women and children fleeing violence were hit with tear gas over the weekend as they tried to enter the U.S. on Sunday. “I think, like any other person with a heart, it’s devastating to see the images and seeing children put at risk,” Trump told ABC News. “Running towards the border is heartbreaking.”
She said that she’s “weighed in” on the issue, though as always she didn’t explain how.
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