The untold truth of Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump had already reached socialite fame thanks to being the daughter of Manhattan real estate mogul Donald Trump, but her celebrity profile burst through the stratosphere when her father shockingly defeated Hillary Clinton in the intensely polarizing 2016 presidential election. Soon, Ivanka went from being a mogul in her own right in the fashion world to a chief adviser to the president of the United States. 

However, the transition from the New York social scene to the cutthroat world of Washington politics wasn't going to be easy. To complicate things even further, the Trump administration has been steeped in scandal, and Ivanka's place as her father's most trusted adviser put her directly in the storm alongside her husband, brothers, and of course, dear old dad himself.

But how much does the world really know about Ivanka Trump? Here's the untold truth about the most powerful first daughter in American history.

Her real name isn't Ivanka

When Ivanka was born in 1981 to parents Donald and Ivana Trump, she was actually given her mother's name, Ivana, and according to Us Weekly, that's what is listed on her birth certificate. As for how she became Ivanka, in 2010, the real estate heiress explained that the name change honors her mother's Czechen heritage.

"In Czech, Ivanka is the baby name for Ivana, like Bobby is to Robert," she tweeted.

According to the Daily Mail, the business mogul has turned "Ivanka Trump" into a $50 million personal brand. Like her father, she has mastered the world of real estate, but she also branched out into fashion with her own line of clothing and accessories. Ivanka is also an author who published The Trump Card in 2009, a book that, like her famous last name, proved to be a tad divisive. But there's no denying that Ivanka has clearly made a name for herself, even if it's not the one that she was born with.

Jennifer Lopez dissed her modeling career

At age 14, Ivanka decided she wanted out of boarding school and negotiated her way into a modeling career, according to The Guardian. "She first had to make a deal with her parents –- they told her she could model as long as she got the school's permission, didn't miss classes and maintained her grades. The school, she wrote in her book, was harder to convince, but she used the fact that 'they'd granted similar leave to a student who was training to be an Olympic skier, so I used precedent to my advantage and got what I wanted.'"

Ivanka quickly made a name for herself after signing with Elite Model Management. She landed several covers, along with a Tommy Hilfiger campaign, but she ultimately decided the industry wasn't for her. "Models were the meanest, cattiest, b***chiest girls on the planet … entitled, unsupervised, undereducated, pampered teenagers whose every success came as the direct result of someone else's disappointment," she told Marie Claire.

And Ivanka wasn't joking about the cattiness, which was often brought on by her famous last name. "She never stood a chance to have a normal modeling career because her name was associated with her dad," former Elite employee Aubrey Roatta told The New York Times, who recalled an unfortunate incident. "'She's only here because of her dad,' Jennifer Lopez reportedly remarked within earshot of the teenage Ivanka at a movie premiere." Whoa! Easy, JLo.

She's had some famous boyfriends

Before settling down with real estate developer Jared Kushner, Ivanka had her share of famous boyfriends. In 2006, she went on several dates with cycling great Lance Armstrong, but according to People, "the relationship never got out of first gear." And, yup, that was a bike pun. Sorry about that.

However, Ivanka quickly rebounded with That '70s Show star Topher Grace, and People reported the two were spotted getting very close at her 25th birthday. But things quickly fizzled, and it turns out the problem was bringing them home to meet dad.

"I was too smart to bring home a date or a boyfriend," Ivanka told CNN (via the New York Post). "I was not going to subject boyfriends to the scrutiny of my father or mother, for that matter, unless I was 100 percent sure." While Ivanka would ultimately subject her now husband, Jared Kushner, to Donald Trump for inspection, that hasn't squelched her taste for famous men.

Her celebrity crush is Christian Bale

In 2015, Ivanka participated in Us Weekly's "25 Things You Don't Know About Me" feature and confirmed her undying love for a certain Batman star. 

"My most enduring celebrity crush would be Christian Bale — purely on a looks basis. I've never met him!" And she wasn't kidding. Eight years earlier, she gushed about Bale in an interview with Marie Claire. "Aesthetically, Christian Bale is like a god — I find him to be so good looking. I mean, he was great in American Psycho. Very attractive," she told the magazine. And for the record, she's drooling over Bale's role as a serial killer. We're just throwing that out there.

In recent years, Ivanka's tastes may have softened. She was famously seen making eyes at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at least according to The Guardian. Granted, he's not a murderous Wall Street broker like Bale's American Psycho character, but he does have the bod.

She auditioned for Les Miserables on Broadway

Despite having no known acting or musical experience besides dancing in The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center as a kid, Ivanka told Us Weekly that she auditioned for the lead role of Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway. Needless to say, "it didn't work out."

Was this an example of hoping to use her famous name to open doors or simply a young woman chasing her dreams? Only Ivanka knows for sure. However, the hotel heiress did get a chance to try out her acting skills when she made a 2010 cameo on the hit TV series Gossip Girl, and she wasted no time promoting her appearance.

"I never miss an episode of Gossip Girl. I think I'm a cross between Blair Waldorf and Lily van der Woodsen when it comes to the style. I like the uptown city style and a clean-cut, streamlined silhouette," Ivanka told InStyle

Of course, it should probably be noted that characters on the show often wore pieces from Ivanka's jewelry line, so obviously, she loves their style. And it's that kind of nose for promotion that's made Ivanka the savvy businesswoman she is today.

She quietly supported Tiffany Trump

While Ivanka Trump and her brothers have soaked up the spotlight as Trump's most famous children, he has a less well-known daughter, Tiffany Trump, from his marriage to Marla Maples. Despite the fact that Trump cheated on Ivanka's mother with Maples, Ivanka has handled the emotional situation well made sure that her half-sister is an essential part of the family.

According to Vanity Fair, Ivanka encouraged Trump to provide Tiffany with a credit card while she attended the University of Pennsylvania, and the two became even closer during her father's campaign and presidency. "Not only does Ivanka give her younger sister 'politics advice, boy advice, and sisterly advice,' Vanity Fair writes. "But she also gives advice on things like 'this is the color that looks best on camera' or, when wearing a dress, 'make sure when you sit down you cross your legs.' Basically, 'all the things she picked up from being famous.'"

Tiffany's next move is to secure a law degree, and we're sure Ivanka will be there every step of the way.

She's chummy with the Clintons

As the 2016 presidential election became one of most divisive moments in American history, it must have been extremely awkward for Ivanka. Prior to Donald and Hillary winning their respective primaries, the Trumps and the Clintons were actually close friends. In fact, Ivanka even donated money to Hillary's 2008 campaign, according to Slate. Awkward.

But despite the polarized events that saw her dad become the leader of the free world, Ivanka had nothing but kind words for her longtime friend, Chelsea Clinton, in the days leading up to the inauguration. "She's been a friend of mine long before the campaign, through the campaign … and will be a friend of mine after," she told 20/20 via the New York Daily News.

However, it should be noted that Ivanka and the former first daughter weren't exactly speaking at the time. "I haven't spoken about the specific challenges about this next chapter with her just yet but I intend to," Ivanka said.

She didn't offer maternity leave to employees

As part of her unorthodox advisory role in the White House, Ivanka positioned herself as a "women's advocate" who had her father's ear on issues like maternity leave and reproductive rights, both of which have have had some unfortunate bumps in the road under the Trump administration, according to Vogue. But things got especially shady for Ivanka when it was revealed that she wasn't exactly the best boss to pregnant employees.

"Marissa Kraxberger, a former executive who was pregnant when Ms. Trump offered her a job in the summer of 2013, recalled asking her future boss about paid leave," The New York Times reports. "She described Ms. Trump as saying, 'Well, we don't have maternity leave policy here; I went back to work one week after having my child, so that's just not something I'm used to.'" Oof.

The good news is that the company began offering paid maternity leave and flexible working hours a year later, according to the Times, which shows that Ivanka is willing and able to evolve her thinking and empathize with others. That's never a bad thing.

Her dad really sounds like he has a crush on her

And now for the elephant in the room: As the 2016 election heated up, it didn't take a long for the media to discover that Donald Trump has made some pretty awkward remarks about Ivanka's looks. And we're not talking about your run of the mill, embarrassing, overly proud dad remarks. These went just a tad too far. According to The Independent, the situation started in 1997 when a 17-year-old Ivanka hosted the Miss Teen USA pageant and Trump asked Miss Universe, "Don't you think my daughter's hot? She's hot, right?" And it only got worse from there.

"In the almost 20 years since, Mr Trump has called his eldest daughter 'voluptuous.'" The Independent reports. "He's said it's OK to describe her as 'a piece of a**,' though she is a senior executive in his business empire. And he's said that, if she wasn't his daughter, 'perhaps [he'd] be dating her.'"

That's gotta be awkward. 

She defends Trump's questionable history with women

A month before Election Day, a controversial recording of Donald Trump bragging to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about groping women leaked to The Washington Post. The situation was so bad that Trump himself issued a rare apology. Ivanka also came to her father's defense with a statement to Fast Company: "My father's comments were clearly inappropriate and offensive and I'm glad that he acknowledged this fact with an immediate apology to my family and the American people."

However, behind the scenes, Ivanka was reportedly furious. Her father had initially tried to deny that he made the remarks and had no interest in apologizing until "his daughter's eyes welled with tears, her face reddened, and she hurried out in frustration," according to The New York Times.

And yet in April 2017, Ivanka defended Trump as an advocate for women while attending a panel in Germany. "I know from personal experience, and I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man." Incidentally, the crowd responded with boos.

Her role in her dad's administration raises ethics questions

When Ivanka officially joined her father's administration in March 2017, it was an unprecedented and controversial move. The Chicago Tribune went so far to say it "threatens our national security" because of the Trump family's numerous foreign investments could impact their policy-making. But things got really sketchy when Ivanka's company started applying for trademarks for China.

"China knows that to deny these applications would get a negative reaction from the president, and to expedite their approval would get a positive reaction from the president," a watchdog group told CNN.

However, The Ivanka Trump Company told CNN this is just "normal course of business" and it was only reacting to a "surge" of third parties trying to copyright the first daughter's name. And while that sounds pretty reasonable, the ethical concerns of mixing Ivanka's brand with foreign policy probably isn't going to go away anytime soon.

She was almost charged for felony fraud

With her father facing intense scrutiny for his campaign's alleged collusion with Russia along with growing legal theories that he committed obstruction of justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, the last thing the Trump White House needed was more accusations of corruption. But that's exactly what Ivanka Trump brought to the table in October 2017, when ProPublica reported on a 2012 investigation that almost resulted in the heiress and her brother, Donald Trump Jr., being charged with felony fraud.

According to the report, Don Jr. and Ivanka were allegedly giving false information to prospective buyers of their hotel and condo units, and sources claimed there is an email trail that shows the Trumps openly discussing the fraud and reassuring others that they won't get caught. It turns out, they were right, perhaps thanks in large part to their dad's longtime personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz getting involved and requesting a meeting with the district attorney.

Officially, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. made the decision to overrule his prosecutors and dismiss the case because he "did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed." However, ProPublica reported that Kasowitz was one of Vance's top campaign donors during his reelection. While Vance reportedly returned Kasowitz's $25,000 contribution before agreeing to meet with him, just six months after dropping the Trump investigation, Kasowitz arranged a $50,000 donation to Vance's campaign. Vance has since told ProPublica that he plans to return that money, too. 

She's on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's radar

Despite her official status as Senior Advisor to the President and a documented history as her father's most trusted offspring, Ivanka had surprisingly managed to stay clear of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign. That situation changed in January 2018, when the Los Angeles Times reported that Mueller wanted to speak to Ivanka about a controversial meeting with a Russian attorney that took place in Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. According to the Times, Ivanka spoke to two Russians involved with the meeting in a Trump Tower elevator as they were leaving. There's also the fact that Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner, attended the meeting along with her brother, Donald Trump Jr.

Granted, Ivanka may have simply exchanged pleasantries, but as The Intercept reports, Ivanka was involved with several events that have drawn the special counsel's attention. She reportedly pushed for the hiring of campaign manager Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, both of whom have been indicted by Mueller. Her father also consulted her before firing FBI Director James Comey, a move that might constitute obstruction of justice. Ivanka was also present for a meeting on Air Force One in July 2017 when Trump administration staffers attempted to cover up the 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, according to The Intercept.

As if that wasn't enough, The Intercept reports that Mueller's investigation is digging deep into President Trump's business practices, and guess who handled his foreign projects: Ivanka. Not good.

Don't ask about her dad's accusers

Ivanka made headlines in February 2018 when she chastised Peter Alexander during an NBC News interview when he asked her about the growing list of women who have accused her father of sexual misconduct.

"I think it's a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter if she believes the accusers of her father when he's affirmatively stated that there's no truth to it. I don't think that's a question you would ask many other daughters." She added, "I know my father. So I think I have that right as a daughter to believe my father."

In Ivanka's defense, the interview occurred before adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal came forward with details of their alleged affairs with Trump. (More on that in a moment.) However, the first daughter's public support of her dad landed her in hot water when she attempted to honor Women's History Month just a few days after her NBC News interview. 

According to People, her efforts did not go over well. "Apparently you don't believe your father's accusers who are women!" wrote one angry user. "Who do you honor? PLEASE tell America the women that made a difference for this country and I'm not talking about your stepmother either!"

She got an icy reception at the Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea were a huge deal, and not just because of curling. Since Trump took office, tensions between the United States and North Korea have reached extraordinarily high levels, with talks of war occurring far too often. This escalating conflict made the Olympic games in South Korea a delicate situation that required a deft level of diplomacy. Instead, the White House sent Ivanka Trump. 

According to CNN, this decision especially frustrated White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who privately voiced concerns that the first daughter was merely "playing government" and the stakes were too high and complex for her involvement. Publicly, however, the official White House statement says Kelly supported Ivanka's trip to Seoul and considered it a "great success."

But as Time reported, some of the athletes who represented the United States were not a big fan of Ivanka's presence. Team USA Skier Gus Kenworthy was particularly vocal about the first daughter walking in the closing ceremony. "So proud of all these people! Everybody here has worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and have the opportunity to walk in the closing ceremony!" he tweeted. "Well… Everyone except Ivanka. Honestly, tf is she doing here??"

Her name keeps popping up in her dad's alleged affairs

While the president's aforementioned remarks about his daughter's looks are uncomfortable enough on their own, they became even more disturbing when two women came forward in March 2018 with details about their alleged affairs with Donald Trump and his alleged attempts to silence them.

In an interview with CNN, former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal claimed she had a ten-month affair with Trump, who didn't think it was weird to compare her to Ivanka Trump. "He said I was beautiful like her," McDougal said. "And, you know, 'You're a smart girl.' There wasn't a lot of comparing, but there was some. I heard a lot about her."

Adult film star Stormy Daniels had a similar encounter during her alleged affair with Trump. "He was like, 'Wow, you are special. You remind me of my daughter,'" Daniels told 60 Minutes (via the New York Daily News). "'You're smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.'"

It's one thing to be proud of your kids, but this? 

Her canine doppelganger almost broke Twitter

Thanks to the growing scandal surrounding the Trump administration and Ivanka's elusive role in it, the real estate heiress is no stranger to being a trending topic on Twitter. And sometimes it's just way too easy. Take for example, the time she dressed up as a scientist to promote Infrastructure Week. The internet went nuts! But there was one viral moment that caught social media completely by surprise: Dogvanka. (Okay, nobody called it that, but we couldn't resist.)

In March 2018, Twitter user "Francesca" posted a photo of an unidentified pooch with the caption "she is an influencer on youtube." According to the Daily Mail, Twitter users lost their minds at the dog's uncanny resemblance to the famous first daughter. "I'm YELLINGGGG" tweeted one user after seeing a side-by-side photo of Ivanka and the viral mutt. Poker player Zachary Elwood joked that the dog has its own lifestyle brand à la Gwyneth Paltrow. The name of that brand? "Poop." 

Stay classy, Twitter!