Presidential adviser Ivanka Trump has said she does not believe the 14 women accusing her father, President Donald Trump, of sexual misconduct, telling a reporter it was “inappropriate” to ask her about the subject.
“I think it's a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter if she believes the accusers of her father, when he’s affirmatively stated that there’s no truth to it,” Ms Trump said on NBC’s The Today Show. “I don't think that's a question you would ask many other daughters.”
She added: “I believe my father, I know my father, so I think I have that right as a daughter to believe my father.”
Mr Trump has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct, calling his accusers “liars”.
Ms Trump's comments came in a wide-ranging interview with The Today Show, in which reporter Peter Alexander questioned her about the allegations of everything from unwanted touching to sexual assault.
Her response drew outcry from those who felt that a member of the White House should not be able to dodge tough questions about the President, no matter their familial ties.
“A senior adviser to the President says it’s inappropriate to ask her if she believes the sexual misconduct allegations made against the President because he’s her father,” tweeted CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, summing up the interview.
The Washington Post’s Jenna Johnson said the White House made it clear that Ms Trump was acting as a senior adviser, not as his daughter, when she travelled to South Korea last week for the Winter Olympics.
“But as soon as she’s hit with a difficult question, suddenly she’s a daughter,” Ms Johnson tweeted.
Ms Trump previously made waves for saying that she believed the women who accused former Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of pursuing them when they were teenagers.
She told the Associated Press that she had no reason to doubt the women, adding: “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”
Her father went on to campaign for the Alabama candidate and lash out at his accusers.
Ms Trump has also tweeted about Time’s Up, the Hollywood-backed initiative to target sexual harassment in the workplace. The tweet drew backlash from many – including one of Mr Trump’s accusers, Jessica Leeds – who felt it was hypocritical.
“It’s unfortunate too because you don’t want to speak badly of the President’s family,” Ms Leeds said on MSNBC.
“But she’s totally misread the whole position and what’s going on in the world.”
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