When the Trump administration quietly cut Michelle Obama's Let Girls Learn initiative Monday, many accusatory fingers immediately swung to Ivanka Trump. "Ivanka is useless. The media must recognize this," one Twitter user scolded. Another scoffed: "Ivanka aims to 'empower' women? Get to work, #POTUSwhisperer!"
Ivanka Trump has repeatedly asked for the public's patience as she learns her way around Washington. But sometimes, The New York Times notes, she comes off as out-of-touch and naïve. While the eldest Trump daughter has insisted on making the promotion of women a central issue during her tenure as a White House adviser, her interest in feminism is also a practical one — her "Women Who Work" slogan was a brand promotion as much as it was a lifestyle.
As a result, when it comes to real policy, the elder first daughter has at times stumbled:
During the campaign, Ms. Trump successfully pushed her father to praise Planned Parenthood from a Republican debate stage, a moment that created a stir at the time because of the party's broad opposition to the organization's abortion services. But more recently, with congressional Republicans threatening to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood (even though the women's health organization says it receives no federal funding for abortions), Ms. Trump approached its president, Cecile Richards, to start a broader dialogue. She also had a proposal: Planned Parenthood should split in two, Ms. Trump suggested, with a smaller arm to provide abortions and a larger one devoted to women's health services.
White House officials said Ms. Trump was trying to find a common-sense solution amid the roar of abortion politics. But Planned Parenthood officials said they thought Ms. Trump's advice was naïve, failing to understand how central reproductive choice was to the group's mission. Ms. Richards sharply criticized Ms. Trump for not publicly objecting to the Republican health-care bill that failed in March, and Ms. Trump felt stung. [The New York Times]
Read more about Ivanka Trump in the West Wing at The New York Times.