While Ivanka Trump was likely busy tanning on the balcony of her new luxury Miami condo, Mother Jones was busy publishing an exclusive: Ivanka may have continued the Trump family tradition of lying during a deposition.
According to documents obtained by the magazine, Ivanka was much more involved in planning her father’s 2017 inauguration than she let on under oath. This wouldn’t matter much if this little detail wasn’t relevant in a lawsuit alleging the Inaugural Committee collaborated with the Trump family to “grossly overpay for event space in the Trump International Hotel” and “improperly used non-profit funds to throw a private party... for the Trump family costing several hundred thousand dollars.”
Karl Racine, the Attorney General of Washington, D.C., launched his probe into the Trump inauguration committee last year. During a December 1 deposition, Ivanka was asked if she had any involvement in the process of planning for the inauguration. Ivanka said she “really didn’t have an involvement” but that, when asked for her opinion about the event, she merely “g[ave] feedback to my father or to anyone who asked my perspective or opinion.”
This makes it sound as if she merely offered an occasional opinion about color schemes, but Mother Jones’ report suggests the opposite:
...[Ivanka] was part of the decision-making for various aspects of the inauguration, including even the menus for events.
One email chain shows that Ivanka Trump was directly involved in the planning of at least one proposed event for the inauguration. On November 29, 2016, Rick Gates, then the deputy chairman of the Presidential Inauguration Committee (known as the PIC), emailed her the current schedule of inauguration events. He noted that Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a lead producer working with the PIC, “is going to call you to discuss some additional ideas she has about some other events that we would like to see if you would be willing to do based on our meetings.” Ivanka replied to Gates and Winston Wolkoff, “Great. I am looping in my assistant Suzie who can coordinate a time for us to connect.”
[Ivanka] laid out “key” messages, including “Our greatest strength is our people” and “Americans deserve to be heard, and their government needs to listen.” She noted that in their recent meeting, she and Ivanka Trump had discussed how to include Donald Trump’s “constituency” in the events, and Winston Wolkoff referred to proposals for doing so.
This is no surprise to anyone who appreciated how much Ivanka latched onto her First Daughter role from the jump; she was still the golden goose of the Trump offspring, and her older brother, Donald Trump Jr, wasn’t yet the most popular Trump child among President Trump’s right-wing base. It’s only natural that she, a woman who happily participated in the administration, was also part of the Inauguration planning.
But it wasn’t just the main gala that Ivanka played a hand in planning. There were talks of Ivanka hosting a “Women’s Entrepreneurs Reception/Dinner” in addition to the usual Inauguration festivities. The aforementioned Wolkoff even asked Ivanka via e-mail if she wanted this event to “be hosted at the National Museum of African American History or the National Gallery of Art.”
Trump event at a Black museum? It incredible gall to even suggest such a thing.
But Ivanka was only interested in the event if it was up to snuff; only the biggest names in tech, law, business, etc would do. But given that they were struggling to get A-list celebrities to perform at the Inauguration, this was a pretty big ask. No wonder that plan never came to fruition.
Oh, and Ivanka had a hand at sorting out the Inauguration musical talent too.
From Mother Jones, emphasis ours:
On December 23, Jon Reynaga, a producer working on the event, emailed Gates and Sara Armstrong, a top PIC official, with a list of musical artists being booked for inauguration events. “They are all somewhat known acts but non-are A-listers,” he observed. [...] Armstrong replied, “Well I’m worried this gets into the lower level that Ivanka didn’t want.” Gates responded that Barrack had okayed this list, and he added, “The entertainment is coming in at cost/expenses which is one of the most important points for DJT – he will like that.”
In a December 16 text to Reynaga, Winston Wolkoff reported that Trump “DID NOT APPROVE THE BEACH BOYS and he nor Ivanka want them.” Asked about this during her deposition, Ivanka Trump said, “I don’t recall that. I love the Beach Boys.”
Beach Boys fan or not, it’s no surprise that Ivanka was involved in the organizing of the $700,000 affair at the Trump International Hotel. But we can rest assured all that money went to good use.