Lara Trump mocked for saying White House jobs should be based on merit in attack on Kamala Harris

‘It should always be based on merit. It should only be based on merit,’ Ms Trump said while discussing Kamala Harris’s appointment to vice president

Johanna Chisholm
Monday 25 April 2022 15:55 BST
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Lara Trump became the target of mockery online after she asserted that White House jobs should be based on merit - despite claims of nepotism in her father-in-law Donald Trump’s administration.

Ms Trump, the wife of Eric Trump, slammed Kamala Harris over the weekend for being what she deemed an “embarrassment” as the country’s “first female vice president” and went on to call her appointment to the second highest office in the country as not being based on “merit”.

“This as a woman I find incredibly frustrating to have this as our first female vice president of the United States. I mean she is an epic failure,” the former US president’s daughter-in-law began while speaking as a contributor on Sunday on the Fox News programme, The Big Sunday Show.

“You just talked about the fact that she’s a border czar [and] she has accomplished nothing. She’s barely made it down to our southern border, the problem is about to ramp up and become worse, but she’s an embarrassment every time she goes out on a national stage,” the Fox contributor said before adding that the vice president was “not chosen based on merit, she was chosen based on virtue signalling and pandering to get votes from women and minorities”.

Ms Trump, who was speaking alongside a panel of Fox News contributors, was referring to a recent book excerpt that hosts were discussing on the Sunday morning news programme that reveals that first lady Jill Biden expressed frustration ahead of Ms Harris being selected to be her husband’s running mate.

The book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future, was written by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns and includes a damning excerpt in which the first lady reportedly said: “There are millions of people in the United States,” she began. “‘Why,’ she asked, ‘do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe’".

The issue got picked up by the Fox News morning show, as the hosts also took the opportunity to lambast Ms Harris’s work as the southern border czar, a role she has taken heat for as the number of migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border has surged in recent weeks as the US prepares for even larger numbers with the expected lifting of a pandemic-era order that turned away asylum seekers.

“What a bad way to ever choose someone for any position,” the Fox News contributor added, before laying out all the reasons why she believes “merit” should be the sole qualifier for White House appointments. “It should always be based on merit. It should only be based on merit.”

Online, commentators took up Ms Trump’s critique of Ms Harris’s appointment with scathing irony, noting how her own immediate family, who had far fewer qualifications for the White House than the sitting vice president, had benefited from senior appointments while former US president Donald Trump was commander in chief.

Ms Harris has worked as a prosecutor, district attorney, state attorney general and US senator before becoming vice president to Joe Biden, while Ms Trump’s sister-in-law, Ivanka Trump, and brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, were both hired by her father-in-law to senior advisory roles in the White House despite not having any prior involvement in government.

“Lara Trump, the epitome of a nepotistic hire, has the gall to say Kamala Harris isn’t the VP ‘on merit’?” wrote one Twitter user, hinting that the Fox News contributor, appointed to her position last year, perhaps earned her pundit role on the conservative network based on her last name rather than ‘merit’.

“Girl pull up a chair cause I’m gonna tell you how you got your job,” wrote another Twitter user.

This isn’t the first time that Ms Trump has taken to airing her doubts over the vice president’s qualifications on cable news.

Last year, while speaking on the Fox News programme Justice With Judge Jeanie, Ms Trump attacked Ms Harris’s handling of the border crisis, noting that she believed the first woman to serve as vice president “was not prepared” for the role.

“She knew that she could not handle this job and so then she becomes vice president, she’s told to deal with this crisis on the border, she thinks she can just laugh it off, it’s embarrassing,” Ms Trump said.

These previous remarks from the Fox News contributor also garnered a strong rebuke online, with personalities like Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin writing “It’s a little rich to hear a Trump family member claim someone—anyone!— currently working in the federal government doesn’t know what they’re doing but hey, that’s them, i.e. the most un-self-aware people to walk the planet.”

This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future, the book excerpted from the two New York Times reporters, is slated to be released on 3 May.

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