By Maggie Mallon. Photos: Getty Images.
For months, Ivanka Trump has served as an advisor to her father—in both informal and formal capacities—sticking primarily to women's issues. But in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ivanka's brother Eric revealed that her influence may go beyond equal pay and maternity leave—and could even extend to military strategy.
Speaking at the Trump Turnberry golf club in Scotland, Eric Trump told the British paper he was "sure" that Ivanka influenced the President's decision last week to order a missile strike against a Syrian air base after a chemical weapons attack against civilians. According to her brother, Ivanka was "heartbroken and outraged" by the attack, which left dozens of Syrians dead, including young children.
"Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence," Trump said. "I'm sure she said, 'Listen, this is horrible stuff.' My father will act in times like that."
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is believed to have ordered the recent chemical weapons attack, as well as a 2013 sarin nerve gas attack that left 1,400 civilians dead. Following the 2013 attack, former President Barack Obama sought authorization from Congress to retaliate against the Assad regime, but lawmakers denied Obama's request—Trump even criticized the president's intent to take military action on Twitter.
Though Trump campaigned on a hands-off approach to the Syrian civil war—a six-year-long conflict that has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced—his latest military action is a reversal of that platform. Eric tried to explain his father's new approach to Syria, saying Trump was "deeply affected" by photographs of Syrian children being "sprayed down by hoses to keep their skin from burning."
“It was horrible. These guys are savages and I’m glad he responded the way he responded," Eric Trump said, adding, “And by the way, he was anti doing anything with Syria two years ago. Then a leader gasses their own people, women and children, at some point America is the global leader and the world’s superpower has to come forward and act and they did with a lot of support of our allies and I think that’s a great thing.”
Eric also stated that his father's decision to take action should dispel any speculation regarding Trump's collusion with Russian President Vladimir Putin—one of Assad's most prominent supporters—to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
“If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie," Eric Trump said.
Though Russia warned that the U.S. missile strike could have "extremely serious" consequences, Eric Trump said his father would not be fazed.
“He is not a guy who gets intimidated," Trump said. "I can tell you he is tough and he won’t be pushed around. The cards will shake out the way they do but he’s tough.”
Though a majority of Americans approved Trump's decision to take military action against Assad last week, there is little support for further involvement in the conflict.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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