This Is What Ivanka Trump Does As A Senior Advisor To The President

Before her father was elected as the 45th President of the United States, Ivanka Trump maintained a lifestyle brand, oversaw acquisitions at the Trump Organization, and wrote two best-selling books. But once Donald Trump was sworn in, the Wharton School of Business grad followed him to the Oval Office as an advisor.

According to her White House profile, Ivanka's role is defined as such: "Ivanka Trump is Advisor to the President. In her role, she focuses on the education and economic empowerment of women and their families as well as job creation and economic growth through workforce development, skills training, and entrepreneurship."

During her almost four years in the White House, Ivanka has aimed her focus on those things with a few controversies and internal battles along the way. So what exactly does Ivanka Trump do as a senior advisor to the President? Let's take a deep dive into the First Daughter's greatest hits and biggest misses. 

Ivanka Trump's top-secret security clearance took some work

In February 2019, The New York Times reported that Donald Trump ordered his then-chief of staff John Kelly to grant his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also serves as a senior advisor to the president, "a top-secret security clearance" despite "concerns flagged by intelligence officials." Although those concerns were not made public by the White House, the publication stated that security "raised questions" about Kushner's "real estate business's ties to foreign governments and investors," and "unreported contacts he had with foreigners."

Two months later, CNN reported that Trump "pressured" Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant Ivanka Trump a top-secret clearance as well. He reportedly granted her one himself when they both refused. Sources told the network that Ivanka might have been unaware of any issues raised during the stringent background check nor her father's involvement in the process. Ivanka "did not seek, nor have, outside counsel involved in her process as no issues were ever raised," a source claimed.

When asked for comment on the situation, then-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "We don't comment on security clearances. We cannot respond to every anonymous source." Both Kelly and McGahn did not comment on the story.

She's helping women in developing countries become entrepreneurs

When Ivanka Trump's White House profile said she "she focuses on the education and economic empowerment of women," it wasn't kidding. In July 2017, she appeared on stage with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the G20 summit to announce the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative ("We-Fi"), a facility that, according to CNN, promotes "women's entrepreneurship in developing countries" by providing resources and policy reforms to "eliminate barriers" and constraints on women when starting a business.

"Thank you World Bank President Jim Yong Kim for your ongoing leadership in support of women's economic empowerment and for joining me today in a meaningful discussion with Saudi Arabian women entrepreneurs and elected officials," Ivanka posted on Facebook during a trip to Saudi Arabia, linking to an article reporting that the country had pledged $100 million to the fund.

Donald Trump also attended the G20, where he revealed the United States would be committing $50 million to the project. He also took the time to crack a joke about his beloved Ivanka while speaking on stage. "If she weren't my daughter it would be so much easier for her," he said (via CNN), adding, "Might be the only bad thing she has going, if you want to know the truth." He continued, "I am very proud of my daughter Ivanka. Always have been, from day one, I have to tell you that, from day one, she has always been great."

Human trafficking is one of Ivanka Trump's signature issues

During her time in the White House, Ivanka Trump has sought to eradicate human trafficking. She has frequently invited survivors and advocates to share their stories, and in May 2017, she held a roundtable discussion on how to combat the scourge. "Human trafficking is a pervasive humanitarian epidemic both domestically and abroad. Together we are working to combat this critical issue," she captioned the photo of the event posted to Twitter.

In September of that year, she delivered an impassioned speech at the United Nations General Assembly, describing the practice of human trafficking as "the greatest human rights issue of our time" and demanding that leaders all over the world heed the call of action and "global unity" (via CNN).

"It is hard to grasp how tens of millions of people across the globe can experience this scale of human suffering. It is unacceptable," she continued. "Human trafficking, forced labor, and modern slavery splinters families, distorts global markets, undermines the rule of law, strengthens transnational organized criminal networks, and threatens national security everywhere." She applauded the U.S. State Department's $25 million donation to the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery. "This is just our most recent step in our many efforts to combat this global problem," she said.

A little diplomacy in South Korea

Ivanka Trump visited South Korea to represent America's delegation at the 2018 Winter Olympics closing ceremony — and to engage in some diplomacy. During her trip, she was a guest at Blue House, the official residence of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook. Why?

"Trump delivered a personal message to President Moon from President Trump about today's North Korea related sanctions announcement at a small meeting at the Blue House. They also discussed the continued effort on the joint maximum pressure campaign against North Korea," a White House senior administration official said in a statement (via CNN). A Blue House spokesperson said they spent dinner chatting about "successful results of Olympic athletes of both countries, strengthening women's economic capabilities, the importance of work-family balance, and South Korean culture, such as K-Pop."

Ivanka thanked President Moon for the chance to "reaffirm our bonds of friendship and partnership," and stated the purpose of her visit was to "reaffirm our commitment to our maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized."

Ivanka Trump relentlessly fights for paid family leave

Much like her advocacy for anti-human trafficking, Ivanka Trump is a staunch fighter for paid family leave. According to CNN, the paid family leave initiative is a part of Trump's "American Working Families" portfolio, and the issue garnered bipartisan support, including from Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who introduced legislation for paid family leave in her FAMILY Act.

"It's encouraging to see members on both sides of the aisle putting forward paid family leave proposals. Twenty-five years after FMLA (The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ) was passed we finally have bipartisan agreement on the importance of paid leave for working parents. Now we are seeking to build consensus around policy that can garner enough votes to be passed into law," Trump said in a statement.

In December 2019, the Senate passed legislation that would give federal employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the first time (via CNN). Although Republicans rejected Trump's proposal to give all American's paid family leave, Senate Democrats notched a win for federal employees as part of the reauthorization of The National Defense Authorization Act. "As the country's largest employer, the United States government must lead by example. After three years of relentless advocacy, the passage of the NDAA will secure Paid Parental Leave for all federal employees," Ivanka Trump said in a statement, adding, "This will mark a HUGE step forward towards making paid leave a reality for all Americans."

Did Ivanka Trump oppose her father's zero-tolerance border policy?

In 2018, President Trump and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions instituted a "zero-tolerance policy" at the United States' southern border, which included the separation of families since children couldn't be prosecuted along with their parents. During the first six weeks of the policy, the Department of Homeland Security reported that "nearly 2,000 immigrant children were separated from parents" (via The Washington Post).

Journalists and human rights advocates descended on immigration detention centers and Border Patrol facilities in Texas, and found children crammed together in cages and using "large foil sheets" as blankets (via AP). "Those kids inside who have been separated from their parents are already being traumatized," said Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon. "It doesn't matter whether the floor is swept and the bedsheets tucked in tight."

At a 2018 Axios event (via People), Ivanka stated that she was "vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children." But when she was asked about the policy again in December 2019 on Face The Nation, Ivanka's sentiments were more nuanced and included a pointed pivot. "Well, immigration is not part of my portfolio, obviously," she said, adding, "I think everyone should be engaged. And the full force of the U.S. government is committed to this effort to border security, to protecting the most vulnerable. That includes those being trafficked across our border, which this president has committed to countering and combating human trafficking in an incredibly comprehensive, aggressive way."

Is there beef between Ivanka and Melania Trump?

According to excerpts of the book The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, Melania Trump reportedly hated being called First Lady and wasn't too keen on being in the public eye. "At the core, I think she's a private person who's spent a lot of time adjusting to public life," a Trump campaign staffer allegedly told the book's author, Mary Jordan.

Melania also had difficulty moving to Washington, D.C. at first, deciding to remain in New York City while her husband and her daughter-in-law relocated to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. That was ... until reportedly Ivanka tried to move in on Melania's turf. With the First Lady's Office vacant, Ivanka — who was angling for more space — attempted to take the office for herself and rename it the "First Family Office." Melania wasn't having that.

Melania also reportedly didn't appreciate the fact that Ivanka was using the White House private residence as her own home. And when she and Barron finally moved in, she shut down the "revolving door" and enforced strict boundaries. As Ivanka stated, immigration is not part of her portfolio.

But her emails?

In November 2018, The Washington Post revealed that Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to discuss "White House business" with aides, assistants, and cabinet officials. The 2017 emails were discovered by White House ethics officials who were collecting data from five agencies in order to "respond to a public records lawsuit." Ivanka did not respond to this report and the White House directed all questions to her attorney, Abbe Lowell.

"While transitioning into government, after she was given an official account but until the White House provided her the same guidance they had given others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family," Lowell's office said in a statement.

We all know where this is headed, right? Ivanka's decision to use a private email account for official White House business was instantly to Hillary Clinton's use of the same. "Ms. Trump did not create a private server in her house or office, no classified information was ever included, the account was never transferred at Trump Organization, and no emails were ever deleted," the statement continued. According to the report, Ivanka turned over all her emails so they could be officially archived. 

Ivanka Trump's 'Find Something New' initiative caused backlash

During the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the U.S. economy, the Labor Department revealed that over 30 million Americans were collecting unemployment benefits, The New York Times reported. Ivanka Trump's solution to that? Just find another job. In a new ad campaign called "Find Something New," Ivanka joined Apple CEO Tim Cook and other business leaders to tell unemployed people during the middle of a pandemic to train for a better job. 

"Now, as a result of COVID, people need to, unfortunately, in some cases learn a completely new skill," she said during the launch (via CNN). "But that is also an opportunity to be put on for a new trajectory for themselves and their lives and we want to facilitate that connection back to the workforce and make it as smooth as possible." Obviously, telling people without a job, money, or training to find work in an economy that's not hiring seemed a bit tone-deaf. "Oh my god. Fits perfectly with their belief that the real problem is people don't want to work not that there's a raging pandemic and massive business closure/job loss!!!" co-host of Rising, Krystal Ball tweeted.

Ivanka responded to the criticism, tweeting: "I suggest that you visit This initiative is about challenging the idea the traditional 2 and 4 yr college is the only option to acquire the skills needed to secure a job."

A tax credit was an early legislative win for Ivanka Trump

"American families need relief. Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties. They should be the norm," Ivanka Trump said in her address to the 2016 Republican National Convention (via ABC News). And once she entered the White House, she fought for just that in the form increasing the child tax credit for working families.

After months of lobbying, her provision was included in the GOP tax reform bill which extended the credit from $1,000 to $2,000. "I think we've, over the course of the year, learned how to work as a unified voice," she said on Fox News (via ABC News) of her ability to work with other lawmakers. "I spent a lot of time on behalf of the administration and with members of the administration, Gary Cohn, Secretary Mnuchin, our whole team on the Hill, and talking with different senators."

Trump celebrated the win by posing in front of The West Wing. "Celebrating a historic win for American working families following the passage of sweeping #TaxCuts," she tweeted, adding, "P.S. I'll never get used to this beautiful background."

She's a Goya spokesmodel

At the launch of President Trump's Hispanic Prosperity Initiative in the White House Rose Garden, Goya CEO Robert Unanue said, "We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder." Unanue, who is a registered Republican, then compared Trump to his grandfather, who founded "the nation's largest Hispanic food company" (via The New York Times). You'll be shocked to learn this, but this became political — with one side boycotting the company for its association with Trump and the other rushing to fill their shopping carts with Goya beans to own the libs.

President Trump posted a photo of himself on Instagram in the Oval Office, promoting Goya products, including kidney beans, Adobo seasoning, white beans, coconut milk, and chocolate wafers. Ivanka also posed with a can of Goya black beans on Twitter with the caption, "If it's Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno." Turns out that might have been an ethics violation.

According to The Guardian, several rights groups, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, accused Trump and the First Daughter of using the office of The White House to promote private business. In response, a White House statement blamed "cancel culture" for the backlash. "Ivanka is proud of this strong, Hispanic-owned business with deep roots in the US and has every right to express her personal support," the statement continued.

Time for Ivanka Trump to move on?

During a December 2019 appearance on CBS News program Face The Nation, Ivanka Trump suggested that she might not return to the White House even if her father gets reelected. "I am driven first and foremost by my kids and their happiness, so that's always going to be my top priority," Ivanka Trump explained, adding, "And my decisions will always be flexible enough to ensure that their needs are being considered first and foremost. So they will really drive that answer for me."

One might think Ivanka would have political aspirations herself but when asked if she has her eyes on the Oval Office, she dodged the question, claiming that the work is "really energizing and I'm deeply passionate but you know the day I walk into the West Wing and I don't feel a shiver up my spine is the day I've been here too long." However, she added that she and her family have "unfinished" business in the White House. "We've done so much but it's not enough yet," she said.