In an excerpt published by New York Magazine on Wednesday, Jan. 3, adapted from Michael Wolff’s upcoming book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Wolff goes behind-the-scenes with the Trump administration spanning an 18-month period. The book, and the published excerpt, include interviews and dialogue about Donald Trump and his cabinet members, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, that reveal unanswered questions about his first months in the presidency. The excerpt, titled "Trump Didn't Want to Be President," gives insight into Trump's unintentional win, and Ivanka's possible intent to be the first female president.
Wolff's analysis details the orchestrated partnership that Jared and Ivanka took on in the White House, mentioning that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon coined the term "Jarvanka." According to Wolff, there was an understanding between the couple that, if the time comes, Ivanka would run for president. Ivanka was apparently excited by the idea that she — and not Hillary Clinton — could be the first female president.
That's pretty much the whole reason Ivanka and Jared decided to take on positions in the White House and move to D.C., by Wolff's account. Apparently, "almost everyone they knew" told them to not accept President Trump's offer of White House positions, but they did it anyways thinking about possible outcomes.
Knowing that Ivanka's got eyes on the Oval Office is not that surprising, considering she has been a crucial adviser to the president in many of his international and domestic endeavors. Ivanka's mother, Ivana Trump, wrote in her memoir Raising Trump, "I think Ivanka played a big part in Donald’s victory. Voters looked at her and thought, 'I like her. I trust her. She loves her father, so he can’t be that bad.'" Ivana's not wrong. Ivanka, unlike her father, is skilled in political talk and always appears polished and proper, not to mention she plays up her familial and motherly duties to showcase her softer side.
While Ivanka and Jared seem to prioritize their family life, make no mistake of their important, joint role in the White House. Wolff explained that Ivanka and Jared were "as much the chief of staff as [Reince] Priebus or Bannon" as they reported directly to the president. Wolff also said their intention for formally entering into White House roles was to have more direct access and influence to the president, knowing that he would be extremely busy and unavailable once he entered office. Otherwise, they worried that they would lose access to Donald Trump.
And lose access to him, they did not. Ivanka and Jared have been heavily involved in the Trump White House and have participated in major policy work. For instance, Ivanka was a major player in the increase of child tax credit for the new tax system. During October and November 2017, Ivanka accompanied her father to campaign for child tax credit, while the president advocated for overall tax reform.
Wolff's excerpt also dug a bit into Donald and Ivanka's relationship. He wrote that their relationship was "in no way conventional" and that Ivanka is a "helper" to Trump on matters on business, in a way that is "certainly transactional." (He also wrote that she makes fun of his hair, which is a particularly interesting little detail.)
Ivanka's assistance to her father could be transactional in one obvious way: her potential presidency. The reported more businesslike nature of their relationship might be what makes her imprint on Trump's White House feasible and successful. Looking back on the first year of Trump's presidency, it's clear that Ivanka has been there every step of the way. All things considered, it's not that far off to imagine Ivanka taking over for her father someday.