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Ivanka Trump: Whistleblower's ID irrelevant to impeachment

PTI | Rabat | Updated: 08-11-2019 18:33 IST | Created: 08-11-2019 18:18 IST
Ivanka Trump: Whistleblower's ID irrelevant to impeachment
Image Credit: Flickr

Ivanka Trump on Friday echoed her father's view that the House impeachment investigation is an attempt to overturn the 2016 election. But, in an interview, she parted ways with President Donald Trump by calling the identity of the impeachment whistleblower "not particularly relevant." The Republican president and some of his allies have been pressing the news media to publicize the whistleblower's name, but Ivanka Trump said the person's motives were more important. And she declined to speculate on what they may have been.

"The whistleblower shouldn't be a substantive part of the conversation," she told The Associated Press, saying the person "did not have firsthand information." She added that "to me, it's not particularly relevant aside from what the motivation behind all of this was." In a wide-ranging, 25-minute interview, Ivanka Trump also addressed her family's criticism of Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter, whether she wants four more years in the White House and the possible future sale of her family's landmark Washington hotel, which she helped develop and referred to as "my baby."

She said she shares her father's oft-repeated view that the impeachment investigation is about "overturning the results of the 2016 election." House Democrats, by contrast, maintain the inquiry is about whether Trump abused his office by putting his political interests first. "Basically since the election, this has been the experience that our administration and our family have been having," Ivanka Trump said of persistent criticism of the president. "Rather than wait, under a year, until the people can decide for themselves based on his record and based on his accomplishments, this new effort has commenced."

Asked whether impeachment marked a low point for the president, she demurred: "I think when Americans are winning, we're feeling great, so I wouldn't consider it a low point. I think Americans are prospering like never before." Ivanka Trump noted that the whistleblower was not among administration officials who heard the president ask Ukraine's leader during a July 25 telephone conversation to investigate Biden, a former vice president who's currently a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Trump. While her brothers Don Jr. and Eric have been vocal critics of the impeachment inquiry, Ivanka Trump has largely stayed out of the discussion. She did recently tweet a quote from Thomas Jefferson about the "enemies and spies" who surrounded him and added that "some things never change, dad."

In the interview, she again placed her father in the august company when it comes to being the target of criticism, saying, "This has been the experience of most." "Abraham Lincoln was famously, even within his own Cabinet, surrounded by people who were former political adversaries," she said. She rejected any suggestion that her own family has been profiting off the presidency even as President Trump and his allies have criticized the involvement of Biden's son with a Ukrainian oil venture when Biden was vice president.

Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration's diplomatic dealings with Kyiv. Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either the former vice president or his son. Still, Ivanka Trump said the Bidens had "created wealth as a derivative" of public service while her family had made its money in business before her father became president.

Good government groups, however, have criticized the president for unethically mixing official business with the promotion of his own interests. Trump is the first president in modern history who has not separated himself from his business holdings. He makes frequent trips to his for-profit golf clubs, collects dues at his members-only properties and hosts fundraisers and foreign delegations at hotels that bear his family's name.

Ivanka Trump said she hasn't been involved in discussions about the possible sale of the president's landmark Washington hotel after nearly three years of ethics complaints and lawsuits accusing him of trying to profit off the presidency. She led the acquisition and development of the hotel a few blocks from the White House. But, a possible future sale "should satisfy the critics," she said.

The president's daughter is wrapping up a three-day visit to Morocco, where she has been promoting a US program aimed at empowering women in developing countries.


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