Ivanka Trump: "I Believe My Father"

Photo: Marianna Massey/Getty Images.
Ivanka Trump said in a recent interview that she believes her father's denials of the sexual misconduct allegations against him over the accusations of at least 19 women.
In an NBC News interview, when asked whether she believes her father's accusers, the first daughter and White House adviser, said:
"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. I believe my father, I know my father, so I think I have that right as a daughter to believe my father."
At least 19 women have accused President Trump in cases ranging from sexual misconduct to rape, but the White House has dismissed all of the allegations. One of the women, Rachel Crooks, is now running for office, hoping to win a seat in the Ohio state legislature. She has said she was inspired to run because even though the #MeToo movement has taken down many powerful men, the president has not faced consequences for his own actions. Crooks asserts that he kissed her without her consent in 2006.
In an unusual statement — since he's mostly stayed silent on the allegations — the president angrily lashed out at Crooks last week, saying he doesn't even know her. He has also threatened to sue the women in statements made during the 2016 presidential election (he has not done so), and is now facing a defamation lawsuit brought by one of his accusers, Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice who claims Trump groped and kissed her without consent.
Ivanka's statement about propriety is curious given that she is a public figure and a senior adviser at the White House. It is certainly appropriate for a journalist to ask her about a newsworthy set of allegations that's in the public eye. Additionally, her defense of her father — taking his words at face value over the words, and evidence, of a considerable number of women — seems to be a classic example of victim-blaming, or believing the accused over the accuser.
It would be interesting to ask Ivanka what she thinks about the actual rarity of false accusations; only approximately 2 to 8% of rape reports are false, according to a 2010 study of students at one university. While the study is narrow, there's a paucity of data precisely because at least two out of three rapes are not reported and many survivors are afraid to speak out, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Another worthwhile question: Does she truly not think her father walked in on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms while they were naked? He himself has said to Howard Stern, “You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.” Or does she not believe this qualifies as sexual misconduct?
President Trump famously said, "When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." Does Ivanka not believe that this display of bravado constitutes as bragging about sexual assault?
Earlier this month, the president sent a tweet slamming the #MeToo movement, just a day after he expressed sympathy for former White House aide Rob Porter, whose two ex-wives have accused him of violently attacking them. In it, he claimed that people's "lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation." But he is still president.
We'd also love to ask Ivanka whether she meant it when she tweeted in support of Time's Up — the legal defense fund launched by celebrities to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment challenge their attackers — just last month.
"Just saw @Oprah's empowering and inspiring speech at last night's #GoldenGlobes. Let's all come together, women & men, & say #TimesUp! #United," she wrote in her tweet. In the speech, Oprah Winfrey told powerful men who abuse women that their time is up as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award.
How does this rousing call for solidarity square with Ivanka's comments that she doesn't believe 19 women — women who have nothing to gain from sharing their pain with the world and everything to lose? Women some of whom have been threatened to drop their lawsuits and are too frightened to appear in public?
The White House has declined to comment on Ivanka's statements.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)