If you weren’t born with a million dollar trust fund, then Ivanka Trump’s “empowerment of women” looks like weak sauce.
And every woman on the AM Joy panel came to that same conclusion this morning.
JOY REID: Stephanie, I have been watching your commentary on Ivanka Trump and am dying to talk to you about it. She seems to want to have two things happen at the same time. To be seen as just a daughter who is not only complicit but also to have this incredible immense power as an official in the White House with a security clearance and a White House phone. Which of those two things is she doing a better job at?
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Neither. She’s chosen her portfolio to be women’s issues and child care and if you look at the administration and what they’re doing, it’s quite the opposite. So while the State Department has a specific bureau around protecting women’s rights around the world, It’s being completely defunded. We’re learning this the same day she’s sitting in Berlin alongside Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde talking about the importance of women, how she cares about these issues. The administration’s positions are doing exactly the opposite. So she chooses to make these issues part of her brand. This brand is not about selling clothes and books. It’s about protecting the rights of women and children in this country and potentially around the world. If you’re going to say it, you better do it.
JOY REID: What she’s done, the PR world around Ivanka Trump puts her out whenever. She seems like she’s softening Donald Trump saying she was sad about what was happening in Syria and pushed him to do something about it. But when it comes to issues like women’s issues she’s completely silent on things like defunding Planned Parenthood.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: The irony is, the last 100 days under the Trump administration have taken women’s rights backwards. You have the Gag Rule, defunding Planned Parenthood, and Trumpcare 2.0 that took away essential benefits for women like maternity care, infant care. This is the complete opposite of what we always think about, imagine if this was Chelsea Clinton, West Wing office, you know, making money off of the administration, you name it, it would be — Republicans would have completely lost their mind.
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RUHLE: Her being the daughter now that she has a West Wing office, a senior appointment in the White House, is doesn’t matter if you have the same last name. That may be how you got that job. We are going to hold you accountable.
JOY REID: And we actually don’t have to imagine what Republicans would do. We can look what the media will do, the difference between how these two are treated. Chris Cillizza who has become a punching bag because of his praise of Ivanka. He wrote an op-ed defending her against the booing. He said it’s impossible for us to know what she does or doesn’t do the to influence her father views and because of that, and because she’s his daughter, booing her for defending her dad is poor form. Meanwhile, this is a tweet he sent out on Monday about Chelsea Clinton. “She’s the daughter of a president and a senator who ran for president twice and she’s made clear she’s interested in elected office!” Another exclamation point which seems to have a completely opposite meaning. Your thoughts.
JUDY GOLD: I just — the fact that we thought that they were going to have such a huge influence, Jared and her on him, is — I feel dissed essentially. You know, it was like they were the “Great White Hope” and the fact that you know, she is doing things that they criticized Hillary Clinton for over and over, the entire Clinton Foundation over and over again. You know, obviously, it’s obvious to me that she, if she’s going to do this work on women’s issues then she should know about them firsthand. It seems to me she has no idea what it is to have to go to Planned Parenthood for your general care. They’re so out of touch. And, of course, you know, she’s going to defend her father, but if that’s going to be the case, that she’s so unaware of how he is and how he is perceived by other countries and the American people, it’s just going to backfire.
RUHLE: But Joy, it’s not just how Donald Trump behaves. We’re talking about Ivanka Trump, the entrepreneur. Her company, her business does not represent respecting human rights and treating women well. She had a former employee last October put out an op-ed when that woman was pregnant and went to her and said let’s discuss maternity leave policies. Ivanka said “We don’t have one at my company. I came back to work the next day.” It’s not just that her father’s policies don’t reflect it. Her business doesn’t. She continues to produce her products overseas while we’re living under this ‘made in America’ mantra.
JOY REID: And paying about $1 an hour, not paying people well. Her own business practices. She wrote a book. ‘Women Who Work’ in which she is trying to double down on the notion she is an exemplar of the woman in the workplace but she’s quite the opposite. She’s employing women and not treating them the way she claims she wants Donald Trump to treat them.
JEAN-PIERRE: There’s two things here. She lives in a bubble, Ivanka Trump. She born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Doesn’t understand how the other world lives and there’s the other part where she is being seen as she’s going to be the whisperer of her father. She’s not a savior. She’s not a reformer. She’s an enabler. She has been complicit and will continue to do that. I think you’re right. You have to hold her accountable, as well and there’s nothing her history, her record doesn’t show that she cares about women’s rights or child care that is important for working women.
RUHLE: That doesn’t preclude her from doing great things but she’s got to the start doing them.
JOY REID: The other issue we have to emoluments issue. She is still making money while she’s stepped down from running her company, she is still profiting off of that brand which may not be selling well in this country but is made overseas. Why does she not get more scrutiny for the amount of money she’s making being the First Daughter of the United States?
GOLD: I guess, I think it’s because you know, he’s doing the same thing. You know? And so where do we start? With her, with him, with his hotel in Washington where he’s making money hand over fist being president. And it’s I guess it’s part of the family that we don’t… if we start with her this where do we go.
JOY REID: Are we going to get to a point where we actually examine these emoluments issues?
RUHLE: Listen, we can say all day long, every day we’re offended and upset. Until this becomes illegal it’s a nonissue. What we can can do is say “Ivanka, if you’re making women’s issues your initiative you have to do something about it because the reverse is happening. This is a matter of life and death for women. The fact even within women it’s all about “entrepreneurship! entrepreneurship!” You cannot thrive unless you survive. And we are losing those basic protections. They’re going to hurt our ability to do that.”
I’m sorry. We’re out of time. As I cut off women and they’re trying to talk, [laughter]