Ivanka Trump insisted her dad was ‘not a racist,’ new book says


(JTA) — Following the death of a counterprotester at a demonstration by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which President Donald Trump said there was blame on “both sides,” White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump defended his statements.

“My dad’s not a racist; he didn’t mean any of it,” the president’s oldest daughter said in a conversation with Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic adviser, who like her is Jewish. “That’s not what he said.”

Ivanka Trump’s comments came after the president initially blamed both sides for the violence, a day later condemned the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, and a day after that said there were “some very fine people” on both sides of a clash that pitted anti-fascist protesters against marchers who had chanted “Jews will not replace us.”

The exchange is chronicled in a book about the rise to power at the White House of Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, which will hit bookstores next week, The New York Times reported.

“Kushner Inc.” is authored by journalist Vicky Ward, who spent two years conducting interviews for the book, according to The Times. She granted many of her 220 subjects anonymity, according to the report. It will be released on March 19.

The book discusses the upbringings of both Ivanka Trump and Kushner and the initial skepticism by the parents on both sides, mostly for religious reasons, about their marriage, according to The Times. Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism before marrying Kushner, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, who was raised in a Modern Orthodox home in Livingston, New Jersey.

It talks about the president’s waxing and waning desire for the couple to leave Washington, D.C., alleging that he at one point urged his then Chief of Staff John Kelly  to “Get rid of my kids; get them back to New York.”

Kushner currently serves as a member of the White House team in charge of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan that is expected to be rolled out shortly after Israel’s national elections on April 9.

The Kushners and the White House have already issued denials.

“Every point that Ms. Ward mentioned in what she called her ‘fact checking’ stage was entirely false,” Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, relayed in a statement. “It seems she has written a book of fiction rather than any serious attempt to get the facts. Correcting everything wrong would take too long and be pointless.”

In a statement to People magazine, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, “It’s sad, but not surprising, the media would spend time promoting a book based on shady anonymous sources and false information instead of all the incredible work Jared and Ivanka are doing for the country.”

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