WASHINGTON (AP) – Ivanka Trump said Thursday that she does not view the news media as “the enemy of the people,” breaking with one of President Donald Trump’s frequent attacks on the press.
The senior White House adviser spoke at an event hosted by Axios, where she also said she agreed that the separation of children from their parents at the border was a “low point” for the administration.
Asked if she agreed with the description of the press frequently invoked by her father, Ivanka Trump said “no, I don’t.”
Sharing her “personal perspective,” she said: “I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate. So … I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they sort of feel targeted. But no, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people.”
The president has broadly labeled the news media the “enemy of the people” and regularly accuses reporters of spreading “fake news” – his term for stories he dislikes. His attacks drew a rebuke from the publisher of The New York Times this week, with A.G. Sulzberger saying he took Trump to task for “deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric” that is “not just divisive but increasingly dangerous” when the two met privately at the White House this month.
Ivanka Trump was also asked about the high point and low point of her White House tenure. When the moderator asked if the separation of migrant children from detained families was a low, she agreed, stressing that she was “vehemently against family separation,” but adding that immigration was “incredibly complex as a topic.”
The president dropped the policy more than a month ago after widespread condemnation from Democrats and Republicans. Ivanka Trump remained quiet publicly in the early days of the border crisis, but the president said she privately urged him to find a solution. She tweeted her thanks after he signed an executive order designed to keep families together.
Noting that her mother was an immigrant who came to the United States legally, Ivanka Trump said this was a “country of laws.” She added: “we have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone.”
On high points for the administration, she cited the president commuting the sentence of Alice Johnson, a woman serving a life sentence for drug offenses whose case had been championed by reality television star Kim Kardashian West. She called Johnson leaving prison “one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”