Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner face a cold new reality

(CNN) — When Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner shared their decision to pick up and move their family to Washington from New York four years ago, multiple sources who know the couple said the idea was that the White House years would allow easy access to their ambitious Next Steps: Kushner would be a powerful player in global politics and Trump would become a candidate for higher office of his own.

The couple have never been shy in their combined love for power. When they got engaged, Ivanka Trump said in an interview that she knew Kushner was the one who discovered that his ambition matched hers.

“Jared and I are very similar in that we are very ambitious. That’s what makes it so amazing to have a relationship with someone who supports that, “she said. Trump to New York Magazine in 2009.

Yet now they find themselves staring at the end of Trump’s ignominious presidency: the United States Capitol still shows signs of the deadly mob attack that tore through the seat of democracy, thousands of National Guard troops cordon off the city, the Impeachment President Donald Trump (again) for his role in inciting the mob and the family patriarch who had his most powerful tool stolen after being permanently banned from Twitter.

To meet their goals, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner need to face their greatest challenge.

Instead of a final chapter from the White House with a smile and a salute, the pair are busy trying to stop the president from saying too much or too little, throwing a grenade that they aren’t sure will detonate, but they can’t take that risk either.

A White House official sent this statement when asked for a comment: “Ivanka came to Washington to give back to a nation that has given so much and to fight for policies that help working American families. For four years, he spearheaded policies that created jobs, empowered American workers, fed families in need and supported small businesses during the pandemic. She is proud of her service and excited for the future.

Ivanka Trump was among those who pressured her father to make the Twitter video that ultimately got him banned in the wake of the riots, according to a White House official.

In the message, he told the rioters to “go home,” but at an off-script moment he added, “We love you.”

From her office in the west wing, Ivanka Trump received calls from Capitol politicians who were literally hiding from a violent mob. Senator Lindsey Graham, a frequent presence with the president during golf outings and holiday excursions to Mar-a-Lago, could not reach Trump to plead with him to publicly call for the insurrection to stop, a source told CNN familiar with the conversation. So Graham called Ivanka Trump and begged him to help her talk to her father.

Kushner intervened when other officials They tried to restore the president’s social media presence on sites that are often havens for extremists, such as Gab, following the unprecedented ban on several major platforms.

Once again, Ivanka Trump was key among those in attendance who lobbied the president to air a subsequent video in the wake of his impeachment, again denouncing any future violence or conspiracy to wreak havoc across the country. This time there were no words of “love.”

The latest move was motivated by fear of possible legal exposure by the president, a source familiar with the recording told CNN.

And according to sources who have worked and socialized with Ivanka Trump and Kushner, their motivation was likely their fear of the status of their beloved source of income: the Trump brand.

“They are trying to keep what little they have left in terms of salable currency like Trump,” said one source, adding that the change from “before the insurrection” to “after the insurrection” has moved the needle in the state of the Trump empire from dangerous to terrible.

“The proof here of how worried (the family) is is how quiet they are,” said another source, pointing to the embarrassing Twitter comments and bravado, especially from Ivanka Trump’s brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric. Trump.

Ivanka Trump’s planned “farewell tour” to shore up political victories is on the shelf at this time, said someone with knowledge of the disputed public relations blitz. Trump’s eldest daughter has made no secret of her desire to explore the possibility of running for office, multiple sources confirm, two of whom asked CNN out loud if those dreams are now impossible to achieve.

“The idea of ​​someone forgetting that their father incited these attacks is almost nil,” said one person who has worked in Republican politics. “If she wanted future voters to overlook how devastating the end of this government is, that’s a huge boost.”

Is the future Florida?

In December, Trump and Kushner closed the purchase of a parcel of land from $ 30 million on exclusive Indian Creek Island, north of Miami, with plans, say his friends, to build private property. The whispers that Trump wants to challenge Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio for his seat in 2022 are growing, or at least they were before the insurrection.

Adam C. Smith, a former political editor for the Tampa Bay Times and now a consultant for Mercury Public Affairs, said it is still possible for Ivanka Trump to get a pass in Florida, where the MAGA (Make America Great Again) crowd is strong and tolerant.

“Until there is real evidence that the Trump brand is weakened with the activist base and the ruling MAGA wing of the party, and not just among the elected Republicans and establishment types, I think Ivanka will remain the clear leader against Marco. Rubio, “he said.

Trump could also look at what public sentiment dictates for his future, or he might want to wait the required seven years of residency in Florida and then run for governor. A source who knows her noted that Trump has never had a problem believing in his own importance.

“Lack of self-confidence is not something I suffer from,” the source said.

Politics or not, Florida at least offers a more conducive environment for life than New York City, where several former friends have said the couple will not be welcomed with open arms again in social circles.

The Kushner-Trumps also have a cabin at Trump Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey, which was recently renovated to add more rooms. They may be able to land there for some time, but politically New Jersey is not Trump’s country, either.

Florida, where Ivanka Trump campaigned several times in the run-up to the presidential election, could provide a partisan haven, but the ease she and Kushner must have in turning their years in Washington into new people in the Sunshine State has now faded. gone.

Family dynamics

The Trump family itself is not the same in terms of relationships as it was in the years before Washington.

The most fractured of the ties is probably the tenuous friendship Trump previously had with his stepmother, Melania Trump. The two women are undoubtedly the most powerful and influential in the president’s life, and prior to the White House years both were aware of and respectful of each other’s turf, according to sources familiar with the dynamics. However, Ivanka Trump’s alleged forays into First Lady Melania Trump’s lane have sparked a tension between women that is so bad, a source told CNN, that there is little desire for both of them to be in the same room.

In recent months, Ivanka Trump and Melania Trump have not, in fact, been publicly photographed together, with the exception of the presidential debate in September and the Republican National Convention in August, where Melania sat next to the president with her son Barron. , her parents and the Pences, with Ivanka Trump on the other side of the stage.

On Thanksgiving, Ivanka Trump and the adult siblings went to Camp David, while Trump dined at the White House with Melania Trump, Barron Trump, and their parents. During the Christmas holidays, Ivanka Trump and Kushner did not visit Mar-a-Lago as they had in previous years. Although Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have a separate living space in Mar-a-Lago, where the outgoing president and his wife intend to live after the White House, a source said that Melania Trump “has not exactly rolled out the carpet. of welcoming”.

Trump’s older brothers also have latent problems, mostly stemming from how the president has behaved over the past two weeks.

“There have been some reports,” said someone with knowledge of the situation.

But if there was ever a time for the Trump family to go ahead with their bunker mentality and try to improve their image, it would be now, or hotels, real estate, branded retail, and any future business entities touched by Trump. they could be irretrievably harmed.

“I think this is a time when the family has to acknowledge that their actions have had consequences,” said the source.

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