When Joe Biden is sworn in as president on Wednesday, America will have a new “first daughter,” Ashley Biden, who, unlike Ivanka Trump, doesn’t expect a job in her father’s White House.
Even if Ashley Biden, 39, won’t be part of her father’s administration, she said in an interview Tuesday that she hopes to use her increased profile for social good.
“I will, however, hopefully use this platform to advocate for social justice, for mental health, to be involved in community development and revitalization,” Ashley Biden, a social worker, activist, philanthropist and fashion designer, said in an interview on the “Today” show. “I do hope to bring awareness and education to some topics, subjects that are really important.”
On @TODAYshow, @JennaBushHager asks Ashley Biden if her mother @DrBiden had heard from @FLOTUS: “No. I don’t think they’re doing the traditional protocol, which is unfortunate. But I think we’re all okay with it.” pic.twitter.com/4H2yE9F6m6
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 19, 2021
Ivanka Trump, also 39, likely would say she has dedicated herself to the public good while serving as a senior adviser in Donald Trump’s White House. The former Trump Organization vice president and fashion brand entrepreneur regularly used her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts to tout her accomplishments on behalf the Trump administration, which she said included launching initiatives to create American jobs, empower women and help families.
Since the launch of the council we’ve:
EO to require skills-based hiring+reform hiring efforts in fed gov
EO encouraging states to adopt occupational licensing reforms
Got @BLS_gov JOLTS to expand beyond national survey & better determine job openings+skills data by area pic.twitter.com/zssTMInJRT
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 18, 2021
Critics of Ivanka Trump say while many of her claims are debatable, they acknowledge she deserves credit for pushing her father to pass a bill giving federal employees 12 weeks of parental leave. With regard to Trump doubling the child care tax credit to $2,000 per child, critics point out that many of the lowest income families who need the credit the most don’t qualify because they don’t earn enough.
Critics also said any good work Ivanka Trump has done has been overshadowed by the highly unusual and controversial role she enjoyed in her father’s White House. Her time in the Trump administration was marked by ongoing concerns about whether she and her husband, Jared Kushner, also a White House senior adviser, violated federal nepotism rules. Both lacked expertise or background in government or foreign policy when they started their jobs.
The couple also faced repeated conflicts-of-interest accusations by watchdog groups, with concerns that their personal and family businesses profited from their contacts with world leaders and their work on various policy issues, such as the “Opportunity Zones” program, which gives tax breaks for investors in certain neighborhoods across the country.
Since the violent pro-Trump attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have become the focus of even more public anger for supporting the president’s claims that the election was stolen and for Ivanka being present when her father allegedly incited supporters to march on the capitol in an attempt to stop congress from voting to finalize Biden’s election victory.
Ivanka Trump appears to have been spending Trump’s final days as president, trying to burnish her battered reputation by sharing more social media messages about her accomplishments. On Tuesday, she also was reportedly huddling with her father in the Oval Office, working on who will receive 11th-hour pardons or commutations.
Meanwhile, Ashley Biden gave her first-ever interview with “Today” host Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. Ashley Biden, the only child of Joe and Jill Biden, confirmed reports that first lady Melania Trump had not reached out to invite her mother to the traditional tea and White House tour that outgoing first ladies have long hosted for their successors.
President Trump previously said he would not attend the inauguration, making him the first president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 to skip the swearing-in of his successor. Ashley Biden commented on the Trumps break with traditions that have long represented America’s peaceful transition of power.
“No, I don’t think they’re doing the traditional protocol, which is unfortunate, but I think we’re all OK with it,” Ashley Biden said.
Ashley Biden also said she was dismayed to watch the mob of Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol building, where her father worked for more than 30 years as a U.S. senator before becoming Barack Obama’s vice president.
“I was deeply saddened that this was a place I grew up going as a child, as you did too,” Ashley Biden said to Bush Hager. “And a place where Dad has worked for over 30 years, a sacred place really, and to see what happened, really to see what was going on, I mean it was truly horrifying.”