The couple was on vacation in Wyoming with their children over the weekend, and, on Monday, participated in a Trump Victory fundraiser alongside his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. They returned to Washington this week but with a limited presence in the West Wing, people familiar with the situation said.
The President’s daughter and son-in-law — who are Modern Orthodox Jews — stayed silent publicly as Trump caused a firestorm by questioning the loyalty of some Jewish Americans to Israel. Trump has recently decided that branding the Democratic Party as anti-Semitic would be savvy political strategy — and aides have largely supported the fight, but when he questioned the intelligence and loyalty of Jewish people who support Democrats, some inside the West Wing privately conceded to CNN he had gone too far. The comments prompted criticism from many groups that what he said was anti-Semitic, but Trump dug in during the days that followed.
“I haven’t heard anybody say that; it’s just the opposite,” he claimed to reporters Wednesday. “I think that if you vote for a Democrat, you’re very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.”
The White House declined to comment on whether Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner have addressed those comments with the President. While Ivanka Trump does not comment publicly on private conversations with him, there have been selective leaks throughout her tenure when she disagrees with her father. This is, so far, not one of those instances.
Additionally, the President has sent mixed signals on background checks in the past week. He had been encouraged by some aides, including Ivanka, to press on background checks in the wake of back-to-back mass shootings. Multiple media organizations reported, citing sources close to the President, that he had told National Rifle Association boss Wayne LaPierre that increased gun background checks were off the table. But on Wednesday, he injected further confusion, saying: “I have an appetite for background checks. We’re going to … be doing background checks.”
Even the President expressed his surprise that the couple was off the grid.
Trump’s daughter and son-in-law have developed a pattern of being absent amid some of the biggest controversies of his presidency.
And they traveled to Florida amid the government shutdown last Christmas, even though the White House insisted Kushner had been actively leading negotiations with lawmakers.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to specify that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are Modern Orthodox Jews.
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