Ivanka Trump: I felt blindsided by the ‘viciousness’ of D.C.

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

Ivanka Trump says she was not quite prepared for the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Washington, D.C., or the cacophony of criticism swirling around her father’s presidency.

“It is hard,” Ivanka Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning. “There’s 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. My father and this administration intends to be transformative. And we want to do big, bold things. And we’re looking to change the status quo.”

President Trump’s older daughter, who left her role at the Trump Organization to take a post as an unpaid White House adviser, was asked about the various controversies and scandals that have marked her father’s first five months in office. She worked on his no-holds-barred presidential campaign and has long been one of his closest confidantes.

“I think some of the distractions and some of the, uh, the ferocity was, um — I was a little blindsided by it on a personal level,” she said.

Trump added that she is “trying to keep my head down and not listen to the noise and just work really hard to make a positive impact in the lives of many people.”

The 35-year-old mother of three, whose husband, Jared Kushner, serves as a senior adviser to the president, was also asked what she thought about James Comey’s explosive testimony last week. The fired FBI director accused Trump of lying on multiple occasions, telling the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday that the president had told him that he hoped he would drop his investigation of fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump denied ever saying that to Comey.

Related: Trump Jr. appears to contradict father’s claim

“My father felt very vindicated in all the statements he’s been making and feels incredibly optimistic,” Ivanka Trump said. “But, you know, at the White House, and throughout the administration, we were incredibly focused on the reason we all went to Washington.”

Her interview was the first of two scheduled to air this week on “Fox & Friends,” a show closely watched by the president. Ivanka Trump will sit down for a taped interview with co-host Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday at the White House that is slated to air the following day.

Those interviews are ostensibly part of a publicity push by a White House that has been dogged by a string of negative headlines. While last week’s “Infrastructure Week” was overshadowed by Comey’s testimony, the White House has dubbed this week “Workforce Development Week” — an initiative “focused on streamlining current federal job training programs” and led, in part, by Ivanka Trump.

“With all the intensity of the media coverage and obviously what makes headlines, ultimately we’re really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president and implementing that plan,” she said.

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