At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania Tuesday night, Ivanka Trump appeared alongside her father, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to announce the details of his new maternity leave plan. The proposal, which she helped him to craft, promises six weeks of paid maternity leave to new mothers (but not fathers) nationwide. By contrast, Hillary Clinton’s medical leave plan offers 12 weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers.
Asked why her father’s plan does not include anything about paternity leave, considering that “paternity leave is said to be a great factor in creating gender equality,” Ivanka dodged the question, calling her father’s proposal “a giant leap from where we are today, which is sadly, nothing.” She went on to explain that the Trumps are primarily concerned with mothers because they have to physically recover from childbirth. Gupta followed up, asking repeatedly for clarification about how Trump’s plan would affect same-sex male couples. “I just want to be clear that, for same-sex adoption, where the two parents are both men, they would not be receiving special leave for that because they don’t need to recover or anything?” Ivanka laughed. “Well, those are your words, not mine.”
Gupta pressed forward. “In 2004, Donald Trump said that pregnancy is an inconvenient thing for a business. It’s surprising to see this policy from him today. Can you talk a little bit about those comments, and perhaps what has changed?” Ivanka balked at the question. She replied:
“So I think that you have a lot of negativity in these questions, and I think my father has put forth a very comprehensive and really revolutionary plan to deal with a lot of issues. So I don’t know how useful it is to spend too much time with you on this if you’re going to make a comment like that. My father obviously has a track record of decades of employing women at every level of his company, and supporting women, and supporting them in their professional capacity, and enabling them to thrive outside of the office and within … my father has been a great advocate for the women in the workforce, and that’s part of why he recognized that reform is so necessary.”
After sort-of-maybe accusing Gupta of making up her father’s 2004 statement, Ivanka rushed her off the phone. “I’m going to jump off, I have to run. I apologize,” she said.
Cosmo wasn’t the only tough interview for Ivanka this week. On Wednesday, Ivanka claimed on Good Morning America that the Trump Organization already guarantees paid maternity leave to all of its staffers. That assertion was later reported to be facetious. But despite evidence to the contrary, Ivanka has repeatedly tried to assure the public that her father — who has said he “would like to think she would find another career or find another company” if his oldest daughter faced harassment at work — is a champion for women everywhere. (“My father is a feminist,” she told the Sunday Times of London.) For his part, Trump told Rolling Stone of his daughter, “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…” Feminism at its finest.