Defending the Donald. Ivanka Trump, the eldest daughter of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, opened up to CBS This Morning about the talked-about New York Times piece from Sunday, May 15, that accused her father of inappropriate conduct in the workplace and unwarranted advances toward multiple women.
"I did [read it]," Ivanka, 34, told Norah O'Donnell in an interview that aired on Wednesday, May 18. "And I found it to be pretty disturbing — based on the facts as I know them. And obviously, I very much know them, both in the capacity as a daughter and in the capacity as an executive who's worked alongside of him at this company for over a decade. So I was bothered by it."
The mom of three claimed that the piece itself had been largely discredited since it was published. "Most of the time, when stories are inaccurate, they're not discredited and I will be frustrated by that," Ivanka continued. "But in this case, I think they went so far. They had such a strong thesis and created facts to reinforce it. And I think that narrative has been playing out now. And there's backlash on it in that regard."
The Times story included details from one of Trump's exes, Rowanne Brewer Lane, about his alleged behavior. "He did ask me, on a scale of 1 to 10, what I thought of Marla [Maples]. I thought that was very boyish of him," Lane told the paper. "He asked me the same thing about Ivana [Trump]. I said, obviously, she is your wife. A beautiful woman. What could you say but a 10? I am not going to judge your wife." Lane has since claimed to CNN that the article was an unfair depiction of her overall interview.
Temple Taggart, 1997 Miss Utah USA, also told the Times that Trump made unwanted physical advances — while he was still married to his second wife. "He kissed me directly on the lips. I thought, 'Oh my God, gross,'" Taggart recalled to the paper. "He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like, 'Wow, that’s inappropriate.'"
Despite the numerous claims made throughout the Times piece, Ivanka resolutely defended her dad — with a smile — in her interview.
"Look, I'm not in every interaction my father has, but he's not a groper," she told O'Donnell, grinning. "It's not who he is. And I've known my father obviously my whole life and he has total respect for women. He was promoting women in development and construction at a time when it was unheard of. There was no trend towards equality in the real estate and construction industry back in the 1980s. And he was doing it because he believes ultimately in merit."
Ivanka did mention, however, that she wishes her father would hedge the tweeting and other strong name-calling. "I have certainly thought that certain things should be toned down," she said. "When I think about myself as a feminist, it's important that women are treated equally. And he treats women and men equally."
Watch the interview above.
Want stories like these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter!