Ivanka Trump says she has been “blindsided” by the “level of viciousness” levelled at her family since her father President Donald Trump moved into the White House.
In the first of two sit-down interviews with the generally Trump-friendly Fox & Friends on the Fox network, Ms Trump worked hard to stay on message, often channeling her father rather than using her own words.
Most notably, she highlighted her surprise at the level of vitriol the family had experienced since entering the White House.
“It is hard, and there is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting. I was not expecting the intensity of this experience, but this isn’t supposed to be easy,” Ms Trump told the three interviewers.
“I think some of the distractions and some of the ferocity was, I was a little blindsided on a personal level.”
When asked about the testimony of sacked FBI director James Comey to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Ms Trump channeled her father, reprising his tweet of last week in saying he had felt “very vindicated” by Mr Comey’s statements, and that he “feels incredibly optimistic”.
Mr Comey testified at the committee last week, stating Mr Trump had pressured him to drop the investigation into alleged Russian election tampering.
Ms Trump, a businesswoman and advisor to the President, then switched to key-message mode, moving the discussion to “infrastructure week” and adding that the Trump administration is trying to do “big, bold things … so I didn’t expect it to be easy”.
“But for me, I’m trying to keep my head down, not listen to the noise and just work really hard to make a positive impact on the lives of many people,” she said.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 12, 2017
Ms Trump also sidestepped a question over an alleged “clashing” between her husband and White House adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.
“There is a 24-hour news cycle that gets fed by and is encouraged by lots of salacious details,” Ms Trump began.
“But, at the end of the day, we’re all focused on the work, and that’s very true for Jared. So, he, you know, he’s somebody who just likes to get things done. So, he doesn’t get involved in, sort of, all of that.”
But many viewers appeared unimpressed by Ms Trump’s showing, with some accusing her of playing the victim.
Many on Twitter raised Mr Trump’s plan to slash Obamacare, as well as his behaviour during the presidential campaign, which included mocking a disabled journalist and questioning whether former president Barack Obama was born in the US (known as the “birther” controversy).
“Imagine how hard it must have been for (Mr Obama’s daughters) Sasha and Malia when your dad was leading the birther movement,” Jordan Uhl wrote on Twitter.
— jordan 🌹 (@JordanUhl) June 12, 2017
"There is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting" – Ivanka Trump pic.twitter.com/Nrtt9Nbn3s
— shauna (@goldengateblond) June 12, 2017
IVANKA TRUMP: There's a level of viciousness in Washington I did not expect. pic.twitter.com/7kRsGAtisn
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) June 12, 2017
The Trumps complaining about the level of viciousness in DC is like the Kardashians complaining about the number of attention seekers in LA.
— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) June 12, 2017
If Ivanka Trump wants to see an unimaginable level of viciousness, She should read the American Health Care Act.
— Jessie Lahr (@JessieLahrr) June 12, 2017
"There is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting" – Ivanka Trump
Really? Good thing some of us don't have amnesia. pic.twitter.com/NmURPEM8B7
— Neil Jacobs (@NeilJacobs) June 12, 2017