Michael Wolff’s sensational new book about the travails of Trump’s first year in office, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, has a lot to say about the president’s immediate family, including the revelation that first daughter Ivanka Trump dreams of becoming the United States’ first woman president.
Based on interviews with 200 Trump and Washington insiders, including the president himself, as well as his billionaire friends and acquaintances, Wolff paints a picture of a White House neck-deep in self-doubt and disarray. But while the general lack of organizational structure and a pervading sense of doom is ubiquitous in Trump’s world, Wolff appears to argue it is the desire of every man and woman near Trump to take care of their own aspirations that most strikes out.
Ivanka Trump, Trump’s first daughter and a supremely influential figure in Trump’s orbit, has plans to launch her own presidential bid in the future. During the campaign, reportedly no one — not least Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner — believed that Trump would win the presidency. But as the apparent unthinkable happened, the power couple began setting their sights on bigger prizes. Wolff points out that Ivanka and Jared, both Democrats and not particularly of the same ilk of the 1950s style, alpha-male president, were advised not to take up official positions in the Trump White House. But they persisted, mostly because of the proximity to power that was attached to it.
The following excerpt from the book portrays Ivanka’s long-term motives.
“For Jared and Ivanka, as really for everybody else in the new administration, quite including the president, this was a random and crazy turn of history such that how could you not seize it? It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Jared and Ivanka Had made an earnest deal between themselves: if sometime in the future the time came, she’d be the one to run for president (or the first one of them to take the shot).
“The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton, it would be Ivanka Trump.”
When Steve Bannon, who has been outcast by Donald Trump following the publication and the subsequent, almost uncontrollable appeal of Michael Wolff’s book, was told of this development, he reacted with astonishment. Apparently, although Bannon mentored Kushner in the first few months of Trump’s presidency, he never seemed to care very deeply for either Ivanka or Jared.
“‘They didn’t say that? Stop’ a horrified Bannon reacted. ‘Oh come on. They didn’t actually say that? Please don’t tell me that. Oh my god.'”
One possible thing, of course, is that if Ivanka were to contest a future presidential election, she might have more experience of working at the White House than the entire coterie that her father managed to put together.