Ivanka Trump broke with her father’s administration on Thursday, calling President Donald Trump’s policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border a “low point” during her time in the White House, and saying she "vehemently" opposed the policy.
“That was a low point for me as well. I feel very strongly about that, and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children, so I would agree with that sentiment,” she said when asked about the policy at Axios’s “Conversation on Workforce Development” Forum.
“I think immigration is incredibly complex as a topic," she added. "Illegal immigration is incredibly complicated. I am the daughter of an immigrant. My mother [Ivana Trump] grew up in Communist Czech Republic, but we are a country of law. So, she came to this country legally."
She also said that she did not see the press as “the enemy of the people,” an oft-repeated phrase employed by the president to attack members of the media, usually because of negative coverage of his administration.
“I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate, so I’ve had some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they’re sort of, feel targeted,” she said. “But no, I do not feel that the media is the 'enemy of the people.'”
She also discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, saying she has not been contacted by Mueller’s office and had not known anything at the time about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting where top members of the president’s campaign met with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin.
Trump responded to her comments regarding the media late Thursday, attempting to recast his past negative remarks aimed at the media by saying she correctly said that the media is not the enemy of the people.
"They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people," he tweeted.
However, in a July tweet before his summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president did not criticize "fake news," but specifically said, "Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people."