Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who are among President Donald Trump’s closest advisers, deserve to be spared from criticism while they’re “sacrificing in their service” working for Americans, according to the deputy White House press secretary.
Trump deputy Hogan Gidley pivoted to a defense of the presidential daughter and son-in-law Monday when a reporter asked about former adviser Steve Bannon during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One as it headed to Tennessee. Bannon issued an apology over the weekend for negative comments about Donald Trump Jr. that were published in Michael Wolff’s book about the Trump White House, Fire and Fury.
“When you go after somebody’s family, in the manner in which [Wolff] did ― two of the president’s children who are serving this nation, sacrificing in their service ― it is repugnant, it is grotesque,” Gidley said. “And I challenge anybody to go and talk about someone else’s family and see if that person doesn’t come back and come back hard.”
When asked specifically how Trump and Kushner were sacrificing, Gidley responded that “they both gave up personal and private lives to come work at the White House and work for the American people. They do that every day. And it’s ridiculous for anyone to try and attack what they do for this nation.”
It’s not illegal for a president to employ his children and other relatives, the Justice Department has determined. But the tenure of Ivanka Trump and Kushner hasn’t been without complications.
Kushner has gotten himself into hot water several times for omitting key information on security clearance forms. He maintains ties to his family real estate business, which has reaped millions in investments from an Israeli company while the president has given him responsibility for Middle East diplomacy.
CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story referenced an incorrect Air Force One destination.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.