An anecdote in a new book about the Trump administration sheds light on how President Trump reportedly views his daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump as something of a political asset. The book, written by Politico journalists Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, claims that during a meeting with several Republican and Democratic leaders, Trump said Ivanka was "like a Democrat" as he introduced her to the room, Newsweek reported on Wednesday.
The incident took place in 2017 when Trump held a meeting with key Republicans, according to Roll Call, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan and former House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were also present. The meeting was planned to discuss the extension of the debt ceiling beyond the 2018 midterm elections, according to Newsweek.
The outlet reported that the book, The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump’s America, claimed Trump had a positive reaction upon seeing McCarthy enter the Oval Office. "Hey, Kevin, what's up?" the president said, according to Sherman and Palmer. But when he saw Pelosi follow McCarthy in, Trump reportedly reacted with, "I've gotta get Ivanka."
In their book, Sherman and Palmer claimed that Ivanka joined the meeting after it began, according to Newsweek. Per the outlet, the book says that Trump then told the room: "You know my daughter Ivanka. She’s like a Democrat." During the meeting, Schumer suggested that the Democratic Party would agree to up to three months as a limit on the debt ceiling increase.
In a rare move, Trump agreed with the Democrats' proposal, Reuters reported. Palmer and Sherman wrote in the book, per Newsweek, "Suddenly Trump had heard enough. He liked the Pelosi and Schumer offer — and agreed to it quickly."
Trump has reportedly quipped about his daughter and her husband Jared Kushner's political ideology in the past, too. In 2018, Newsweek reported, based on senior political journalist Bob Woodward's book Fear, that Trump had joked that Ivanka and Jared were members of the Democratic Party.
"At times it seemed Ivanka's presence — hours a day, days in a row — was nonstop. Jared [Kushner] had the same squatter's rights in the West Wing," Woodward wrote in his book, according to Newsweek's 2018 report. "They were like a posse of second-guessers, hovering, watching, interacting as family and senior advisers with the president. Ivanka planted seeds of doubt about policy and passed her father articles."
When former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus reportedly complained about Ivanka and Kushner's presence in the White House, Woodward wrote that Trump "regularly joked, 'They’re Democrats.'"
Last year, however, The Hill reported that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed Woodward's book as "nothing more than fabricated stories." Still, for what it's worth, the reported jokes may have had some weight to them; Ivanka and various other Trump family members donated to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, according to CNN, and Cory Booker's Senate campaign in 2013, ABC News reported.