The White House is pushing back on a new book, Kushner Inc., detailing Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s role in Donald Trump’s administration.
Its author, Vicky Ward, told The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert on Monday that “if Sarah Huckabee Sanders wants to get into a credibility ratings battle with me, I’ll take her on.”
Trump is “very ambivalent” about having his daughter and son-in-law working in his White House, Ward told Colbert. “He was very ambivalent about having them come in, he hates it when they get negative press.”
If that’s true, Colbert said, “why do you think the president doesn’t get them out of there?”
Ward said then-Chief of Staff John Kelly tried to force them to resign, on Trump’s orders, “they came to resign, and Trump couldn’t do it. … He cannot send his daughter home.”
Some of Trump’s supporters argue that “his daughter and her husband may be his undoing, that they are far more dangerous to him than Robert Mueller,” Ward said.
For example, she said, Kushner’s role in firing James Comey as FBI director was much greater, more public, and more apparently self-serving than is widely known.
“Is there anybody left to check the influence of Jared and Ivanka?” Colbert asked. Ward said yes, first lady Melania Trump, “the only person in my book who has ever successfully stood up to Ivanka Trump and won.”
COLBERT: Who is there to say “no” to these people?
WARD: So here’s an interesting suggestion: Melania Trump… is the only person in my book who has ever successfully stood up to Ivanka Trump and won. I have a scene [during the transition in which] Ivanka Trump has told the world that she’s not going to be joining the White House. Absolute rubbish. Behind the scenes [she was] making all the plans. [She actually had] a “Trump family office” drawn up for the East Wing, which is normally the territory of the First Lady. When Melania Trump heard about this, she put a very quick end to Ivanka’s plans.
COLBERT: So, all our hope rests on Melania Trump.
Ward revisited the Melania-Ivanka standoff in an ABC News The Investigation podcast posted Tuesday, and she suggested a motivation for Jared and Ivanka’s misbehavior: “Most people go into government for public service. They do seem to have gone in for self-service.”
Ward said she doesn’t know if “these two will be held accountable,” but it could “two ways: Either they will, as a combination of Congress and prosecutors or, you know, their path, their trajectory will continue as it has which seemingly is remarkably unstoppable.”