Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton sat down at the midtown Manhattan offices of the Clinton Foundation for a wide-ranging interview with the U.K. paper the Guardian. Clinton was there ostensibly to talk about her third children’s book, She Persisted Around the World, but she also touched on the pressures of growing up in the White House and her feelings about current first daughter Ivanka Trump.
The interview took place a few days after Ivanka Trump opened the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and dozens of Palestinians were massacred.
Clinton’s face hardened when she was asked if she feels sympathy for the first daughter, as she’s doing her father’s bidding.
“She’s an adult. She can make the choices for herself,” said Clinton. “I mean, she’s 36. We are responsible for our choices. In 2008 I was really proud to support my mom — but I disagreed with her fundamentally on a few things, particularly her then opposition to equal marriage rights for LGBTQ Americans. I never defended that position, because it wasn’t what I believed was the right thing to do.”
Clinton and Trump’s friendship has been well documented. Both women are well educated, come from privilege, and live in Manhattan. Though they’ve kept their relationship largely private, the two women hung out at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in November 2014, where they took several smiling photos together, like the one at the top of this story.
The friendship apparently survived the 2016 election, but not the Trump presidency. Clinton told the Guardian the two haven’t spoken in “a long time.”
While Clinton has been vocal about how Barron, the youngest Trump, is treated, and says, “He’s 12; let him be 12, please,” she offers no sympathy for Trump’s other children: “They’re adults who’ve made the decision to work in this administration.”
The mom of two young children also touched on the vitriol that has been directed at her since she was a very young child, saying, “The savagery that is directed at me, sometimes it’s because I’m just the person that they happen to see and recognize, and they’re angry, and so that anger kind of spills out. Sometimes they’re mad at me because of something that my mom or dad did, or something that my mom or dad never did — but they have been fed the narrative that they were trafficking children, or drugs, or some other heinous crime.”
How does she handle it? She tries to rise above it.
“For me, maybe because I’ve had so much vitriol flung at me for as long as I can literally remember, people saying awful things to me even as a child, I’ve never found it productive, personally, to engage in that way. To retaliate with crass language or insult someone personally — I just don’t think I’m built that way.”
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