Ivanka Trump on Father's Campaign: "I'm Not a Surrogate, I'm a Daughter"

The Hollywood Reporter

Ivanka Trump tried to put some space between her work as a businesswoman and the campaign of her father, Donald Trump, during an onstage interview on Wednesday morning. 

"I'm not a surrogate, I'm a daughter," she told the audience at Fortune's Most Powerful Women summit, adding, "I'm not the campaign mastermind." 

Trump, who serves as executive vp development and acquisitions at her father's company, the Trump Organization, and also has her own fashion line, explained that she hates the word "surrogate" asking, "What does that mean?"

She noted that she has refrained from wading into policy, with one exception: helping Donald Trump to craft a child-care policy that would lower the cost of care and guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave. "It's very core to my personal and professional mission, so I stepped into the fray on that front," she said. 

Trump, who is married to fellow New York real estate scion Jared Kushner, is the mother of three. She described that when she drops her children off at school there are now photographers waiting to take her photo. "The media has been vicious," she said, noting that some places have interpreted her motherly duties as a way for the campaign to appeal to working women.  

Trump also reiterated that she considers herself an independent. "I'm not automatically aligned with any party. I've shared my thoughts with my father very candidly," she added. 

Two days earlier, Trump broke her silence on her father's lewd statements about groping women, calling them "clearly inappropriate and offensive." The statement, part of a Fast Company profile on Donald Trump's oldest daughter, came a little more than a week after a leaked 2005 tape of the Republican presidential candidate boasting with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.

Her full statement: "My father's comments were clearly inappropriate and offensive and I'm glad that he acknowledged this fact with an immediate apology to my family and the American people." 

Her talk on Wednesday began with a question about whether she was offended by her father's comments. "Way to warm up," she joked, before saying, "I think my remarks were clear on this. I did find it to be offensive. He acknowledged it as well." 

"This tape was over a decade old. I'm sure he didn't remember this conversation," she continued, adding that Donald Trump "was embarrassed that he said those things." 

She went on to explain that his comments were not consistent with conversations she'd had with him and called them "a bit jarring for me to hear." She said that her father expressed this to her privately and "he was very sincere in his apology." 

But while Trump says she has an open dialog with her father, she also was quick to note that she is not her father. "He's very much his own man, just as I am very much my own woman," she said. "I have opinions. My opinions are my own." 

Near the end of her session, she was asked whether Donald Trump will concede if he loses to Hillary Clinton. "My father is in this to win it. I'm not interested in talking about alternative outcomes," she responded, before adding that her father "will always do the right thing." 

She concluded: "He'll either win or he won't win, and I believe he'll accept the outcome either way."