Ivanka Trump may have always been known as the favorite of Donald Trump’s children, but now that her brother, Donald Trump Jr., has become a crucial part of her father’s reelection campaign, her position as the family golden child might be threatened! An article in the Atlantic suggests that Ivanka and Don Jr. are competing with each other for the top spot in the Trump dynasty, and a “cold war” is intensifying between the two siblings.
As McKay Coppins writes in the piece, Ivanka was always poised to become a prominent figure in Trump’s business dealings, including his political career:
He’d been grooming her for years to take over the family empire. She was the golden child — beautiful, telegenic, and in possession of that most important family trait: a compulsive image-consciousness.
As assistant to the president, Ivanka, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, who was appointed as a senior adviser, were instantly given more power at the start of the Trump presidency, but her father eventually began to tire of their “incessant lobbying,” Coppins writes.
Meanwhile, Don, who always embarrassed his father with his love for hunting, was relegated to campaigning in “far-flung states no one else had time for” during the 2016 election. But this ended up proving Don an asset as he appealed to gun-toting Republicans in rural America. “You can finally do something for me,” Trump reportedly told him. However, when Don’s Trump Tower meeting with the Russians was outed, his father didn’t hold back. “He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” Trump said.
But over the past couple of years, Ivanka and Jared’s power has waned, while Don’s prominence in his father’s MAGA crowd has grown. As did the rivalry between the two siblings, and each accused the other of planting stories in the press, just like a prime-time soap opera:
A few days before the midterms, McClatchy published a story under the headline “Trump Kids on the Campaign Trail: Don Jr. Wows, Ivanka Disappoints.” Ivanka’s camp was enraged, and suspected that Don was behind the story. Later, Don confronted Ivanka over rumors that her team was undermining him in off-the-record conversations with reporters. “Tell your people to stop trashing me to the media,” he said, according to someone familiar with the conversation.
Now, it seems like the brother’s and sister’s roles in the family business have switched. Instead of being sent to random states like before, Don was the one to introduce his father at his reelection rally in June, with Ivanka and Jared sitting in the audience. And Don’s girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, is working as a senior adviser for Trump’s reelection campaign. For now, Don Jr. may very well have the upper hand.