With business mogul and reality television star Donald Trump set to assume the U.S. presidency in fewer than 24 hours, the vibe in the White House (not to mention the country) is about to undergo a seismic shift. But when it comes to the impending changeover at America’s most famous address, it’s not just the man in the Oval Office who’s captured the nation’s attention.
All eyes are also on the incoming first family, including Trump’s wife, Melania, and youngest child, Barron, as well as his adult children from his previous marriages — and on the eve of the president-elect’s inauguration, they were all in the 20/20 hot seat for some last-minute questions.
The hourlong ABC special on Thursday, January 19, focused on the family’s impending move to Washington, D.C., and included both fun facts and revealing moments as three generations of Trumps and a professional White House staff of hundreds prepared to welcome the new president home. Here’s what we learned.
The White House Changeover Is a Warp-Speed Affair
The latter half of this program was devoted to the ins and outs of getting a new family into the White House — and while the inauguration ceremony happens at a deliberate pace befitting a heavy historic moment, the service staff at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be racing to move the Obamas out and the Trumps in. The entire process takes just five hours and is overseen in painstaking detail by chief usher Stephen W. Rochon. When President Trump arrives at his new address for the next four years, everything will be perfect — right down to his preferred brand of soap.
The Clinton-Trump Kids Are All Right
Despite Donald Trump’s repeated campaign promise to throw Hillary Clinton in jail if he won, there’s apparently no such bad blood between their progeny. Ivanka Trump says that she and Chelsea Clinton have been and remain close friends — and while they haven’t sat down for a serious conversation about the election outcome, says Ivanka, “I intend to.”
Don’t Bother Asking Trump’s Sons About Divesting
Among the many concerns that have been raised about Donald Trump’s presidency is that he intends to hand his businesses off to his children rather than divest entirely (against the strenuous advice of many experts, some of whom believe he’ll be in violation of the Constitution from the moment he assumes office as a result). But if you were hoping that Eric or Donald Jr. would shed some light on that state of affairs … nope. Eric Trump offered only nonspecific assurances that “we’ve taken extraordinary measures to make sure the two are separated.” And Donald Trump Jr. went a step further to say that there’s no point in even trying to divest because “it would take years to do it right.”
The Angel on President Trump’s Shoulder? Ivanka
Ever since the nation voted Donald Trump into office, people have debated just how involved his kids will be in the new family business of running the country — and wondered whether any of them have the influence to reel in their notoriously hotheaded father. This interview made it clear that if anyone has that role, it’s Ivanka. Not only are she and husband Jared Kushner moving their family to Washington, but Ivanka confirmed that she’s approached her father already about issues such as his potentially inflammatory tweeting.
“I give him my feedback, solicited or otherwise,” she said.
But Ivanka Also Has Something to Say to the Women Who Are Marching on Washington Tomorrow
Hundreds of thousands of protesters are planning to come out in a mass demonstration against the incoming president tomorrow — and thanks to the recent news that the Trump administration is planning mass cuts to programs devoted to ending violence against women, the anger and fear is running high. Nevertheless, when asked for her thoughts, Ivanka had a familiar plea: “Give my father a chance. What he’s shown his entire life is his support and advocacy for women.”
20/20 airs on ABC Fridays at 10 p.m. ET.
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