Ivanka Trump: The whistleblower's identity is "not particularly relevant" in impeachment inquiry

The White House adviser appeared to break with her father, who has been urging the media to name the official

Published November 8, 2019 5:00PM (EST)

Ivanka Trump (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Ivanka Trump (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of President Donald Trump, weighed in on the impeachment inquiry launched against her father.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the president's daughter and White House adviser, said that she agrees with her father that the impeachment investigation is about "overturning the results of the 2016 election."

But she appeared to break with the president and his Republican allies, who have been pressuring major news outlets to publicly identify the whistleblower whose complaint to the intelligence community prompted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  to open the inquiry.

"The whistleblower shouldn't be a substantive part of the conversation," Ivanka Trump said, adding that the individual's identity was not "particularly relevant" to her "aside from what the motivation behind all of this was."

She noted that the whistleblower was not among administration officials who heard the president ask Ukraine's leader during a July 25 telephone conversation to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Trump in 2020.

"This is a third party who was not privy to the call and did not have firsthand information," she said. "That is what was the catalyst for all of this discussion. But, to me, it's not particularly relevant aside from what the motivation behind all of this was."

Ivanka Trump claimed that her family has faced constant criticism ever since her father came into the Oval Office and that impeachment was part of that pattern. House Democrats, meanwhile, have alleged that Trump abused his office for personal and political gain.

"Basically, since the election, this has been the experience that our administration and our family has been having," she said. "Rather than wait, under a year, until the people can decide for themselves based on his record and based on his accomplishments, this new effort has commenced."

She rejected any suggestion that her family had been profiting off the presidency and claimed that a big difference between her family and the Bidens was that her father had amassed his wealth before he entered politics, while Biden's had "created wealth as a derivative" of his time in office. Thus, she claimed the two situations to be "completely inverse."

Since he clinched the presidency in 2016, Trump has not divested from his private business interests, against the advice of government ethics experts, and he has regularly visited them throughout his tenure in the White House. Over the past three years, Trump's properties have become a magnet for lobbyists, foreign governments and organizations friendly to the president's agenda, who have given the appearance of gathering at the establishment in effort to curry favor with the administration.

The president's properties have drawn lawsuits filed from watchdog groups and Democrats in Congress, who have claimed that Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by accepting payments through his hotels. The Constitution prohibits presidents from taking "emoluments," considered gifts or payments, from foreign governments without congressional approval.

Trump, however, has continued to do business with foreign dignitaries. The president's personal lawyers have argued the emoluments clause only prohibits compensation in exchange for a "personal service in his capacity as [an] officeholder," or a bribe.

Ivanka Trump told the AP she has not been reading transcripts of closed-door interviews conducted in the impeachment inquiry.

She added that she had not yet decided what role she will play in her father's re-election campaign.

The president's daughter spoke to the AP while wrapping up a three-day visit to Morocco, where she had reportedly been promoting a U.S. program aimed at helping empower women in developing countries.

By Shira Tarlo

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