In another world, Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump might have understood each other like no one else. Both daughters of presidents (and both having lived through their father’s public sex scandals), the younger Clinton and Trump did enjoy a brief friendship that reached its peak in 2015, when the former effusively praised the latter in a Vogue interview. But then came the 2016 election, and as their parents Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton battled it out for the presidency, it seemed increasingly unlikely that their bond would be able to withstand it. Even so, Chelsea insisted she and Ivanka would remain close no matter the outcome — and four years later, she’s finally opening up about why she wasn’t able to keep that promise. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Donald’s campaign trail message that got to her, much of which centered around accusing “crooked Hillary” of various crimes. Instead, Chelsea says it’s Ivanka’s behavior since entering the White House that has made continuing a relationship impossible.
Chelsea made this confession to an unlikely listener: Andy Cohen, who hosted her on Thursday night’s Watch What Happens Live. When he asked her about the friendship and whether they were still in touch, Chelsea’s answer was very straightforward.
“I’ve not spoken to her since 2016 and I have no interest in being friends with someone who is not only complicit but actively taking part in this administration’s every day collision of cruelty and incompetence,” she said. “That’s the answer.”
Cohen then asked the same question we had: How did it feel watching Donald attack her mom like that? And was there ever a part of her that wanted to reach out to Ivanka and ask her to stop?
Chelsea was deeply affected by the things Donald was saying on the campaign trail, but her reason for instantly pulling back from Ivanka wasn’t due to the attacks on Hillary — it was due to everything that he did stand for, and the way Ivanka unilaterally embraced his platform.
“We were in touch at the beginning of the campaign,” she explained. “But it’s just really hard there’s someone who’s actively embracing their candidate — whether it’s their father or not — who is trafficking in racism and sexism and anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and transphobia and conspiracy theories and lies and is so fundamentally corrupt.”
So, is there any hope for a Chelsea and Ivanka reunion in the future? More than there is for Hillary and Donald, maybe, but we’d say the odds aren’t great.
“I don’t think [Ivanka and her father] are the same by any standard, but I think she’s more than complicit,” Chelsea told Andy. “And I don’t want to be friends with someone like that.”
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