Ivanka Trump does not like to discuss defeat. Her father is “in it to win it,” she says, and she’s “not interested in talking about alternative outcomes.” But if the election doesn’t go to Trump, who has repeatedly questioned the fairness of the electoral process, Ivanka said in a new interview on Wednesday that her father will “do the right thing.”
In an interview with TIME Editor Nancy Gibbs at the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s conference, Trump appeared calm and poised but revealed very little about her reaction to her father’s recent campaign struggles. When asked directly about her father’s “locker room” talk, his claims that the election will be “rigged” and the massive gender gap between Trump voters and Hillary Clinton voters, Ivanka Trump mostly gave answers about her closeness with her father, their family business and her own brand.
The Most Powerful Women interview was her first major interview since the release of the leaked 2005 audio that revealed Trump bragging that he can “do anything” to women. When asked about the now-infamous audio, Ivanka Trump said the incident was “jarring,” but that her father had apologized. “He recognizes it was crude language, he was embarrassed that he had said those things, and he apologized,” she said. “That’s not language consistent with any conversation I’ve had with him.” She then described her father’s business prowess, calling him very much a “leader of people.” (A Fast Company article published Monday included a statement from Ivanka Trump on her father’s scandals.)
She added that she has spoken to her father about his controversial comments, but did not reveal what was said in those conversations. “We talk about it, we have a very open dialogue, and I think that’s one of the things that I respect so much about him, his willingness to listen,” she said.
Trump also attempted to distance herself from the campaign’s inner sanctum, saying she resented media portrayals that describe her as a “surrogate” for her father.
“I’m not a surrogate, I’m a daughter,” she said. “I’m not the campaign mastermind that people like to portray.”
Ivanka has played a prominent role in the campaign, introducing her father at his announcement speech, giving a major primetime address at the Republican National Convention and orchestrating her father’s child care plan.
“When people ask me about politics, I talk about what a great dad he was, and what a great businessman he’s been, because that’s what I know,” she said. “Everyone else can debate policy.”
Ivanka also says she has been surprised by the level of scrutiny aimed at her and her family since her father began to run for President. “I may have been naïve going into this—nothing in life prepares you for a parent running for president,” she said, before adding that “the media has been vicious.”
“The bias is very, very real, and I don’t think I would have said this to you even a year ago,” she continued. “From a media perspective, it’s very hard to get an accurate portrayal of who he is as a person.”
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