Lara Trump: Is president's daughter-in-law the new Ivanka?

Chelsea Ritschel

Of all the president’s children, Ivanka, the president’s second child, has taken on the largest role within the administration.

In addition to filling in for the First Lady role shortly after her father was inaugurated - while his wife Melania stayed behind in New York - both Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have been given roles of senior advisors.

Recently, however, another of Mr Trump’s heirs has found herself increasingly in the spotlight - a place she seems more than comfortable as she discusses her father-in-law’s ability to lead the country.

Lara Trump, 37, is the wife of the president’s son Eric, and was easy to miss when she first came on-board the Trump train in 2016. While some credit her with helping the president secure the Republican vote in North Carolina, Lara’s home-state, she was frequently overshadowed by 38-year-old Ivanka - the original shining star of the Trump campaign.

Having started her career as a pastry chef before moving to CBSInside Edition, where she worked as an associate producer, Lara later took on a role as the host of “Real News Updates,” a weekly video series for the campaign.

“I bet you haven’t heard all about the accomplishments the president had this week, because there’s so much fake news out there,” she said in one of the first videos of the programme.

Now, however, as Lara continues in her role as senior advisor to the president’s re-election campaign, she has been rolled out more and more as one of the star spokespeople of the Trump administration.

While she may not be as recognisable as Ivanka yet, Lara is quickly becoming a force in her own right.

This is how Lara could be the new Ivanka - both in her personal life and the political sphere.

Her social media accounts promote a down-to-earth family life

In August 2019, Lara and Eric welcomed their second child, a daughter named Carolina Dorothy. Since then, Lara has frequently posted updates of the family to Instagram - from photos of the children enjoying a casual lunch of french fries at the beach or joking about one of the struggles of motherhood, the inability to get a good picture of the family.

In March 2017, she told Hello! Magazine that her and her husband lead a “pretty normal life”.

“Our favourite place to be is our home outside of New York City,” she said. “It’s quiet and relaxing - just the two of us and our dogs.”

Ivanka maintains a similar appearance on social media, as she regularly posts photos of herself, her husband, and their three young children.

She gave up her career to be part of the presidency

Just like her sister-in-law had to give up her eponymous fashion business due to the potential conflict of interest, Lara decided to give up her own career - leaving her role in television during the final two months of the 2016 presidential campaign to join the cause.

At the time, she said: “When they’re reporting on your family on the show you work for, it’s a little challenging.”

In addition to the president's own news outlet, Lara is a regular guest on Fox News.

She is very loyal to the president

Also not unlike Ivanka, Lara has spoken out in support of her father-in-law on numerous occasions.

“My father-in-law is a very loyal individual and he is very loyal to people who are loyal to him,” she previously told Fox News. “When he feels like somebody isn’t doing a good job, or is not being loyal, he’s going to correct that, and I think that’s what we’ve seen in the White House so far.”

She's stirred controversy

No stranger to controversy, Lara Trump frequently faces backlash for her comments.

In November 2019, the president’s daughter-in-law attacked the media during a campaign event, telling attendees “the media vilifies us, they call us every name in the book, they make it very hard to outwardly support this president”.

In April of last year, Lara criticised Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to welcome refugees, calling it “one of the worst things to ever happen to Germany”.

Most recently, she attacked presidential hopeful Joe Biden over his speech impediment at a Women for Trump event in Iowa.

“I’m supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes on stage or they turn to him, I’m like: ‘Joe, can you get it out? Let’s get the words out, Joe.’ You kinda feel bad for him. The problem is that’s their front-runner, guys, okay?” she said.

There have been concerns about overreach

Just as Ivanka and Jared have faced rising legal concerns over their roles in the White House, Lara’s own role, which has included the ability to host high-level meetings on a variety of initiatives, has been questioned.

These meetings included attempts to swing support for a $10m initiative for a Veterans Affairs program, Newsweek reports.

“I cannot remember something like that ever happening in my time,” David Gergen, a presidential advisor who served in four White House administrations told the outlet. “This White House is being run like a family business, and campaigning is their bread and butter.”

The Independent has reached out to the Trump administration for comment.