Speculation is mounting that President-elect Donald Trump is set to make the sensational addition of his daughter to the White House inner-circle – as first lady.
US media are loudly promoting the theory, with The Washington Post hypothesising that “Ivanka Trump could be the most powerful first lady ever”.
It went on to list other US Presidents who did not have their wives serve as first lady.
These included Harriet Lane (President James Buchanan’s niece), Martha Jefferson Rudolph (Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, his wife had died) and Rose Cleveland (Grover Cleveland’s sister, until he married).
Like Jacqueline Kennedy and Bess Truman, the article argued, Melania Trump is also a “reluctant” first lady, but possibly even more so than the spouses of Harry Truman and John F Kennedy.
“Given Ivanka’s enthusiasm on the campaign trail and her understanding of the ways of official Washington – in contrast to her stepmother’s (Mr Trump’s wife Melania Trump’s) apparent indifference – it’s not only conceivable that she’ll be the incoming administration’s titular first lady, she’ll redefine the position by expanding it in ways that will make it almost unrecognisable,” the story read.
That article came on the back of an Los Angeles Times opinion piece urging Ivanka to influence her father with more progressive tendencies, and numerous reports, including a Fox News story revealing the influence Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have on the President-elect.
Ivanka involved in flight stoush
Meanwhile, a man has been booted off a budget flight in the United States for abusing Ms Trump and husband Mr Kushner and “leering” at her children at JFK Airport in New York.
TMZ has reported that New York lawyer Dan Goldstein yelled at Ms Trump: “Your father is ruining the country,” resulting in the man being thrown off the flight.
“Why is she on our flight. She should be flying private,” he reportedly said.
Mr Goldstein and his husband, Matthew Lasner were kicked off the flight with Mr Goldstein reportedly protesting: “You’re kicking me off for expressing my opinion?”
“My husband expressed his displeasure in a calm tone, JetBlue staff overheard, and they kicked us off the plane,” he reportedly said.
Ivanka and Jared looking for a house in DC
There are also reports that Ivanka and Mr Kushner have been house-hunting in Washington and she was clearly seen in a meeting Mr Trump held last week with top technology CEOs.
Making Ivanka his first lady could bypass an anti-nepotism law that would likely keep Mr Trump from making his daughter an official part of his cabinet or administration.
Mr Trump aims at China
The Ivanka Trump speculation comes as her father has appointed a vocal critic of China to a key international trade post.
On Thursday (AEDT) Mr Trump announced economist Peter Navarro – author of the book Death By China – as head of the newly-formed National Trade Council, which will over see the United States’ trade and industrial policy.
While this shock appointment suggested Mr Trump would stick to his pre-election mantra of getting a better deal on trade arrangements with China.
Peter Navarro’s Death By China was also turned into a film, the trailer of which featured a “Made in China” knife stabbing a map of America causing blood to spill.
Mr Navarro, 67, is a professor at the University of California and holds a doctorate from Harvard, specialising in economics and public policy.
He argues that China is attacking the US’s economic prosperity by subsidising exports to the US and impeding imports from it.
Watch the Death by China trailer:
Mr Trump described this aleged practice while campaigning as “the greatest theft in the history of the world”.
The billionaire also appointed fellow billionaire Carl Ichan as a special advisor on regulatory overhaul.
The New York Times described Mr Ichan as a “brash New York billionaire who vocally supported Mr Trump during the campaign”.
“Carl was with me from the beginning, and with his being one of the world’s great businessmen, that was something I truly appreciated,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “His help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable.”