Ivanka Trump weighed in on the #MeToo movement for the first time, calling the global cultural shift “a really exciting and important moment in time.” But she also said she believes her father, President Donald Trump, over the women who have accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior.
Asked what she would say to those who say the President has chosen to empathize with the accused over the accusers, citing Roy Moore and Rob Porter, Trump disputed the premise, pointing to a “vast spectrum” of harassment.
“I don’t think that is true. I think that when there are cases of domestic violence, as we saw recently, that cannot be condoned, nobody would condone that. And I think there is a vast spectrum,” Trump said in an interview with NBC News during her trip to South Korea for the Winter Olympics.
“I actually think this is a really exciting and important moment in time. And I think many people are being exposed for doing some really awful things,” she added. “And I am proud of the women who are standing up in the face of accusers with credible, with credible evidence and credible stories, and you have seen a lot of those, a lot of them recently.”
Trump’s comments, which aired Tuesday, mark the first time she has substantively discussed the movement. The first daughter and senior adviser to the President previously expressed support for Oprah Winfrey’s remarks at the Golden Globes in January, tweeting, “Just saw @Oprah’s empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #United”
In the same NBC interview, Trump at first punted when asked whether she believed the women who had accused her father of sexual harassment, saying it was an “inappropriate question to ask a daughter,” and then said she believed her father.
Trump, who has written multiple books about women in the workplace, has styled herself as an advocate for working women and made women’s economic empowerment a key piece of her portfolio during her time at the White House, although she has avoided joining the national conversation on sexual harassment in the workplace.
“Sexual harassment is never acceptable, and we must stand against it. At the same time we must recognize that our coworkers come in all shapes, stripes, and sizes. What might be offensive to one person might appear harmless to another. Learn to figure out when a hoot or a holler is indeed a form of harassment and when it’s merely a good-natured tease that you can give back in kind,” she wrote in her 2009 book, “The Trump Card.”
Trump, through a spokesperson, has declined CNN’s request to discuss the movement in more detail.