Ivanka Trump’s trip to the Olympic Winter Games last week is causing tensions in the White House, notably irking chief of staff John Kelly, according to a new CNN report.
The first daughter and adviser to President Donald Trump participated in the Olympics Closing Games on Friday — an event that given its setting in PyeongChang, South Korea, with the participation of North Korea, was fraught with complex diplomatic pitfalls.
The decision to send her to South Korea did not sit well with some senior officials in the West Wing, two people familiar with the situation told CNN. The nuclear threat from North Korea and the tensions already boiling across the Korean Peninsula made any US delegation far more than ceremonial.
Kelly was not initially enthusiastic about her South Korea trip, a person close to President Donald Trump said, largely because the visit to the Korean Peninsula was far more than a typical Olympic closing ceremony.
There was also the matter of Ivanka’s NBC News interview, in which she refused to answer questions on her father’s sexual misconduct accusers, telling Peter Alexander the question was “inappropriate” to ask of a daughter.
“The blurred line between staffer and daughter has long irked Kelly,” CNN reported, and people familiar with the matter said his “regimented sense of order is tested by the implicit access being a child of the President affords.”
Meanwhile, Kelly has grown increasingly frustrated with Ivanka Trump since he entered the West Wing last July, people familiar with the situation say. He often feels that she tries to have it both ways, acting as a senior adviser to the president when it suits her and then as his daughter when it doesn’t. Kelly has remarked privately that Ivanka is just “playing government,” one source said, and has largely brushed aside her agenda, once disregarding her child tax credit as “a pet project.”
Read the CNN report here, and watch a New Day segment on it above.
[image via screengrab]
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