Sources quoted in a recent Vanity Fair piece claimed that Ivanka Trump has a “frosty” relationship with Melania Trump ― but Ivanka has nothing but praise for her stepmom in her new book Women Who Work.
“Melania, you are an unbelievable mother with a heart of gold. You give generously of your time and attention and I appreciate your support and friendship,” the first daughter writes in the acknowledgements.
The shout-out follows a similarly complimentary message that Ivanka tweeted out to her 3.6 million followers on Melania’s birthday last week.
“Happy Birthday to our First Lady (and my incredible step-mom!) Melania Trump. A wonderful example of kindness and grace for us all! @FLOTUS,” she wrote.
“They are grown-up,” the 47-year-old told Harper’s Bazaar in 2016. “I don’t see myself as their mother. I am their friend, and I’m here when they need me.”
Since Donald Trump took office in January, Melania has taken a mostly hands-off approach to the role of first lady. She and their 11-year-old son Barron continue to live at Trump Tower in New York, though they reportedly plan to move into the White House this summer after Barron’s school year ends.
In an interview with HuffPost last month, Kate Andersen Brower, author of First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, said that the Slovenian-born model brings a “1950s approach” to the office of the first lady. She also faces some unique challenges.
“She’s not from the U.S., and I do think that’s part of it. Growing up in this country, the first lady symbolically is a part of your life, and a part of American culture, and so I think people should give her some slack for that,” Brower said. “She didn’t grow up with that, and so in a way, it is a very foreign concept.”
Ivanka, meanwhile, has served as an unpaid advisor to her father, regularly attending official meetings at the White House and even taking an office in the West Wing. She and husband Jared Kusher ― who is also among the president’s most trusted advisers ― have both faced criticism for not publicly pushing back on some of the president’s more controversial policies.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” in April, Ivanka said her work at the White House isn’t “about promoting [her] viewpoints.”
“I wasn’t elected by the American people to be president. My father is going to do a tremendous job. And I wanna help him do that. But I don’t think that it will make me a more effective advocate to constantly articulate every issue publicly where I disagree,” she said.