Ivanka Trump stepped up for her stepmother in a Thursday interview, saying that Melania Trump, not her would be the first lady in both name and deed.
“I think it’s an inappropriate observation. There’s one first lady, and she’ll do remarkable things,” Ivanka Trump said on ABC’s 20/20, responding to a question about she and Melania Trump’s roles in the new White House.
Pundits have speculated since her father’s November victory that Ivanka Trump might function as de-facto first lady under her father, pointing to her role as campaign surrogate and main adviser. She and husband Jared Kushner have decamped to Washington, D.C. to help the administration, with him working as a West Wing aide.
Melania Trump, who avoided the campaign trail, intends to maintain her primary residence at Trump Tower in New York, citing her desire for son Barron to finish out the school year before moving.
But don’t expect Ivanka Trump to remain in the background. She might be a key force on pet issues like family leave and climate change. “It’s emotional that I’m stepping away from my business, and my father will be president,” she told ABC. “Hopefully I can be there to support him and to support those causes I’ve cared about my whole professional career.”