Ivanka Trump spent about eight hours answering questions about the Jan. 6 insurrection in testimony before the House select committee.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said her virtual testimony was "not in broad, chatty terms, but she's answering questions," and NBC News reporter Ryan Reilly explained how she might have resolved the inherent tension between her desire to portray herself as a positive influence on her father but without implicating him in criminal wrongdoing.
"You know, I think it's present to this broader theme that we saw throughout the Trump administration where Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner tried to make themselves out to be the reasonable people in the room," Reilly said, "and they kept saying that they were trying to push Trump in the right direction. It became a trope throughout the Trump administration. We saw this and every decision that from administration made that was unpopular with the broader masses or may have been unpopular in their circles. There was always the story that said, 'Well, you know Ivanka was trying to push him in the right direction behind the scenes.' So this sort of seems like an ongoing theme here because Jan. 6 is now this monumental event that is shaping the entire Trump presidency. I think it's clear here and then she recognizes that. She has to be clear that, you know, she was a reasonable force in the room. She has to get the narrative out there or else is going to bring her entire brand down along with her father's."
Another conflict she faces is the likelihood that Ivanka Trump did not believe her father had the 2020 election stolen from him, as he claimed.
"It's difficult to imagine that Ivanka Trump actually believes the things about the stolen election that her father believes," Reilly said. "Just generationally, she's younger, she's more internet-savvy, she's college-educated, she's probably a lot less conservative than her father. So to imagine that we're in a situation where she actually believe these lies that the president was spreading, which is what makes her testimony so important, because a critical thing here is whether or not Donald Trump actually believes the lies that he was telling about the stolen election. That's really a critical component of this, especially for the Justice Department investigation, where that's going to be a critical component to broader, to the broader investigation and criminal culpability ultimately."
"If he actually believed the lies about the stolen election, that's a lot different than just saying these things to try to make a splash and change direction of the election -- basically, essentially, steal the election," Reilly added. "If he knew they were lies, that's one thing. If you actually believe the lies, there's another. That could determine the trajectory of the criminal side of this investigation."