As President Donald Trump grappled with the realities of governing, leaks about infighting within his administration, and multiple international conflicts, two of his top aides, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, were far from the White House.
The couple celebrated Passover at the Four Seasons Whistler in Canada, according to an article and exclusive photo in Jewish Insider.
Ivanka Trump, decked out in a red ski suit with fur trim, is pictured on her phone, grabbing some matzoh from a buffet. The photo was taken Monday, according to the publication. The White House did not respond to CNN’s request for comment to confirm that Kushner was indeed traveling with his wife over the holiday. (A family Passover photo from the White House posted by Trump on Monday appears to have been taken during the inaugural weekend.)
The Four Seasons Resort is hosting “Pesach on the Mountain,” a 10-day kosher ski vacation, billed as “an exclusive Pesach vacation that offers supreme accommodations” on its website. The 2017 accommodations were sold out. Passover tourism is common, as the holiday requires the observant to remove all leavened products from their homes, use separate dishes that only come out once a year, and deep clean their cooking equipment.
The Torah prohibits work during the first and seventh days of Passover, which began on Monday this year. And Trump and Kushner, who are modern Orthodox Jews, observe Shabbat, which means they do not work from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday.
Trump and Kushner are not the first orthodox Jews to serve in an administration. But it’s unclear whether the couple’s travel is in line with previous administration officials, since the couple has a much higher profile. It’s unusual in the first 100 days of an administration, especially as many White House staffers and high-level officials have logged long hours and most weekends.
In the Obama administration, top aides generally took vacation at the same time as Obama, as long as they were not staffing the President on the vacation. The President always travels with a senior official and a senior National Security Council aide.
Trump has been without two of his most trusted advisers at critical junctures during the first 100 days of his presidency — nearly every day since inauguration has been jam-packed, and Monday was the second business day following missile strikes on Syria.
Sundown Friday to Saturdays has also coincided with the timing of some of Trump’s most controversial tweets and actions. For instance, Trump’s tweet alleging President Barack Obama “had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,” came early one Saturday morning. His original executive order travel ban was rolled out on a Friday evening in late January.
But the duo has been around as the President has celebrated some of his victories, including the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and rollback of many Obama-era regulations.
In Trump’s first few months in office, Kushner, 36, has taken a broad portfolio within the West Wing, where he has an influential purview over a range of both foreign and domestic policy issues. He is heading up the Office of American Innovation, a new White House office aimed at reforming the federal government through private-sector solutions.
And Ivanka Trump recently, officially became an adviser to the President, a role in which she will serve as the President’s eyes and ears on a variety of issues, including women’s economic empowerment and education.
Both Trump and Kushner are unpaid.
The travel bug runs in the family — the President himself is heading to Mar-a-Lago for the holiday weekend, his seventh since taking office at what he refers to as the “Southern White House.”
“My parents believed that travel was a big part of my education, and they were only too happy to fund that aspect of my upbringing as well,” Trump wrote in her 2009 memoir.
“All through childhood, there was one adventure after another to typical jet-setting-type hot spots, remote, undiscovered haunts, and everywhere in between.”
In addition to multiple trips to Palm Beach with the President, the couple traveled to Aspen as part of a family tradition ski trip in March.
During the transition, they were in Hawaii over the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays.
And in addition to campaign-related travel, they visited the Croatian island of Hvar last August.