Ivanka Trump laments 'viciousness' of her father's critics

Ivanka Trump (centre) listening as President Donald Trump signs bills in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, on June 2, 2017.
Ivanka Trump (centre) listening as President Donald Trump signs bills in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, on June 2, 2017. PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON - Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and White House adviser, said she has been surprised by the "viciousness" and "ferocity" that greeted her father's presidency.

But she said her father felt "very vindicated" by last week's Senate hearing featuring fired FBI director James Comey.

Her appearance on the Fox & Friends morning show on the Fox News Channel on Monday (June 12) was promoted by President Donald Trump on Twitter, and followed a weekend where no administration officials appeared on the major Sunday public affairs shows, according to Washington Post.

Fielding largely friendly questions, Ivanka Trump addressed the Senate hearing last week in which Comey testified that the president had asked for his loyalty and asked him to end an investigation into the role of Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, in alleged Russian meddling in last year's election. Comey also said he had told Trump that he was not personally under investigation in the probe of possible coordination between the Russians and his campaign.

"My father felt very vindicated in all the statements he's been making and feels incredibly optimistic," she said.

She lamented that coverage of the hearing had overshadowed "infrastructure week," a series of events staged by the president to highlight his vows to spur US$1 trillion (S$1.3 trillion) in new spending on roads, bridges, waterways and other infrastructure.

She said she was surprised by "the distractions" and "noise" surrounding her father's administration.

"We moved down to Washington," she said of her New York-based family. "We want to be helpful. We want to do big things, important things."

"There is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting," she added. "I was not expecting the intensity of this experience, but this isn't supposed to be easy. My father and this administration intends to be transformative, and we want to big, bold things."

Ivanka Trump praised the work of her husband, Jared Kushner, also a top White House aide, particularly for his work in helping set up the president's nine-day foreign trip that included stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Italy.

She was also asked about "talk" of Kushner clashing with other senior White House officials.

"There is a 24-hour news cycle that gets fed by, and is encouraged by, a lot of salacious details, but at the end of the day, we're all focused on the work, and that's very true for Jared," she said. "He's somebody who just likes to get things done."