The Trump State Department seems to have a wee bit of a problem in the ethics department, again, this time for promoting Ivanka Trump’s new book with a retweet. In late April, the Bureau of International Information Programs promoted Trump’s Country Club, Mar-a-Lago. The article then appeared on multiple government websites and social media accounts.
From The Atlantic:
Advertising for the Trump’s business assets can “arguably violate both the Constitution’s Domestic Emoluments Clause, which bars the president from accepting remuneration from the federal government beyond his official salary, and federal ethics laws constraining the use of government platforms for promoting private businesses.”
The Office of Global Women’s Issues was championed by Hillary Clinton. She created the position of ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues. The Office may be defunded at some point by Donald, but in the meantime, it also advertised Ivanka’s, “Women Who Work.” The department shortly took the post down when talk of ethics violations began.
See the Tweet below:
George Takei pointed out, the book is also being advertised while the “Let Girls Learn” initiative may be ended by Ivanka’s father:
“Ivanka’s new book ‘Women Who Work’ comes out as Donald plans to end the ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative. Empowerment for me but not for thee.”
See Takei’s Tweet below:
Ivanka's new book "Women Who Work" comes out as Donald plans to end the "Let Girls Learn" initiative.
Empowerment for me but not for thee.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 2, 2017
The Hill reported that the White House denies they will cut funding to Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” program, though an internal memo from the acting director of the Peace Corps had reported otherwise.
The New York Dail News reports that the ambassador-at-large post that usually heads the State Department of Women’s Issues has remained empty under the Trump administration.
Women’s Issues don’t seem to be a priority for her father, and Ivanka’s book isn’t the only ethics concern for Ivanka today:
The Government Ethics Office dropped a bomb on Ivanka days ago when Director Walter Shaub Jr. stated in a letter response to Ivanka that “Ivanka Trump must file disclosures within 30 days of her appointment about her financial interests and those of husband Jared Kushner and their children.” Ivanka also must receive ethics training and Shaub suggested recusal from areas that may be a conflict of interest, or possibly “reassignment, divestiture, waiver, or the establishment of a qualified blind or diversified trust.”
It has certainly been an interesting and critical time for Ivanka of late, with wide criticism of her new book, including remarks from Jane Goodall, and author, Reshma Saujani as two prime examples. Then Ivanka takes it to another plane when she quotes Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
There has also been the phenomena surrounding Ivanka’s popular Instagram post, a video in which she dances with her kids. Some have seen it as a calculated marketing ploy meant to make her appear as a typical working woman, but can she actually relate to average working women, or a woman like UN Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall?
Jane Goodall’s quote was chosen by Ivanka for her book, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Goodall’s scathing and honest response when she was made aware of Ivanka’s use of her quote:
“Legislation that was passed by previous governments to protect wildlife such as the Endangered Species Act, create national monuments and other clean air and water legislation have all been jeopardized by this administration,” Goodall said. “I hope that Ms. Trump will stand with us to value and cherish our natural world and protect this planet for future generations.”
Reshma Saujani tweeted, “.@ivankatrump don’t use my story in #WomenWhoWork unless you are going to stop being #complicit #askivanka”
See the Tweet from Saujani below:
— Reshma Saujani (@reshmasaujani) May 2, 2017
A Toni Morrison quote that appears in her book is one of the most “spectacularly misapplied quotations” though, according to NPR’s Annalisa Quinn. Raw Story reports that Ivanka chose the quote from Beloved, “Are you a slave to your time or the master of it?” Ivanka introduces a chapter on “working smarter” with the quote, but considering the context of Beloved, which Morrison dedicated to “millions of Africans and their descendants who died on slave ships or were killed as a result of the slave trade,” this quote is a malapropos choice for Ivanka, to say the least.
Ivanka’s book and her complicity with her father’s agenda are all facing open season from critics who do not think she authentically represents women’s interests or working American women in large part by her association with her father. SNL famously roasted her when Scarlett Johansson portrayed her in, “Complicit, a new fragrance for Ivanka Trump.”
When asked by Gayle King to weigh in on the complicity, Ivanka stated, “I don’t know what it means to be complicit,” and said she wants to be a force for good.
We hope Ivanka can find her voice and be an effective advocate from within the White House for minorities and women in America facing a bleak outlook thanks to her father’s policy positions and budget cuts. So far the outlook is grim indeed.
See Ivanka respond to Gayle King below: