It’s unclear where exactly Ivanka Trump and her husband — Jared Kushner, who like Ivanka is a senior White House adviser — will physically land after they are expected to leave Washington in January. Some anticipate the couple will return to their old home of New York, while others speculate they may relocate to a “cottage” at the president’s Bedminster golf course in New Jersey.
But former friends, colleagues and associates of the couple believe wherever they live, the first daughter will be contemplating how to maximize her political capital — whether that means an actual run for office, or a gauzier influence in Republican circles in a world where President Trump still holds enormous political sway.
It’s clear that some in and fallen from Trumpworld in New York — where “Not Wanted” fliers have cropped up around the city and Lincoln Project billboards in Times Square caused the couple to threaten a lawsuit — don’t want to see that happen.
“I am happy to shed light on them to keep them as far away from our political realm as possible,” said Marissa Velez Kraxberger, a film producer and the former creative director at Ivanka’s now-defunct namesake company, who called the president’s elder daughter “identical” to her father and who voted for Joe Biden.
“I think she’d want to be the [first] female president,” Kraxberger said, reflecting on her two years working with Trump. “I don’t think she’s actually ever had any interest in fashion, but everything was an angle to gain more power in whatever possible way.”
Ivanka Trump has dodged questions about whether she plans to run for a political office. But over her four years serving as a senior White House adviser, she has completed a stunning transformation from a publicly liberal New Yorker who some hoped would serve as a restraining influence on her father to an “unapologetically” “pro-life” advocate of the Make America Great Again agenda — a “proud Trump Republican,” as she told Fox News earlier this year.
Interviews with over a dozen individuals painted a picture of a woman who, much like her father, is interested in leveraging the platform and global relationships she gleaned from her starring role in Washington.
“I think she’s impressive and most people see she’s impressive and if she wants to stay involved with politics, people will take her with open arms. But staying involved with politics is different than running for office,” a former White House official remarked.
The White House did not respond to a request for an interview with Ivanka Trump. “While the media seems only interested in covering trite topics and perpetuating idle gossip, Ivanka continues to focus on her policy priorities fighting for American workers and their families,” deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
Nonetheless, Trumpworld could be seeking the next heir apparent once the president leaves office, though he is still baselessly insisting the election he lost to Biden was somehow rigged.
President Trump has expressed an interest in running again in 2024, though that would probably be from his perch at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. But the next generation of Trumps could also eye the throne, including both Ivanka and her brother Donald Jr., who was popular on the road at MAGA rallies.
Earlier in the Trump administration, Ivanka Trump denied interest in a 2024 presidential run, but pollsters have included her name in surveys for a hypothetical Republican presidential primary pool excluding her father. She notched four percentage points among likely 2024 general-election voters in a McLaughlin & Associates-Newsmax poll released at the end of last month, falling behind Vice President Pence, Donald Trump Jr., Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah).
Others who know and have worked with the family warn that Ivanka Trump would not easily be able to shed the baggage of her father’s presidency. That became clearer after the New York Times reported Tuesday evening that the president is discussing with his advisers whether to grant preemptive pardons to his children, his son-in-law and his personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Ivanka Trump isn’t known to be a part of any federal investigations; such a presidential pardon would not apply to state probes.
But any whiff of legal trouble could stand as a roadblock to a political future.
“There’s too much potential dirt that she doesn’t want released,” Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney who pleaded guilty in 2018 in two separate criminal cases related to his work for the Trump campaign and organization, said of the speculation. “It’s easy to say, ‘I‘m doing this, I’m doing that,’ but it’s different to put your entire life out there for the media to excoriate you.”
“Everyone is saying that she’s running for office, and that’s the ultimate compliment for…