Ivanka Trump says she's 'complicit' in being a 'force for good' amid 'unprecedented situation'

Ivanka Trump was named assistant to the president last week.

ByABC News
April 5, 2017, 8:53 AM

— -- In her first interview since taking a formal position in her father's administration, Ivanka Trump defended herself against critics and addressed concerns about her business empire.

CBS News' Gayle King asked Ivanka Trump to "weigh in" on the criticism that she is "complicit" in the actions of her father, President Donald Trump.

"If being complicit is wanting to ... be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit," Ivanka Trump said in an interview that aired Wednesday.

Ivanka Trump, who was recently named assistant to the president, had previously said during her father's campaign that she would not take a role in the administration.

In the CBS interview, the president's eldest daughter explained that working in her father's administration "all happened very organically for me."

"I realized that having one foot in and one foot out wouldn't work," Ivanka Trump said.

Critics of the president have alleged that Ivanka Trump and her husband, senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner, have refused to push back against the president's more divisive actions -- including the effort to ban travelers from certain countries -- despite their reportedly moderate personal beliefs.

"I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard," Ivanka Trump said. "In some case, it's through protest and it's through going on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue in which you disagree with. Other times it is quietly and directly and candidly. So where I disagree with my father, he knows it, and I express myself with total candor."

When asked to give an example of when she has disagreed with her father, she skirted the question.

"I think that for me this isn't about promoting my viewpoints. I wasn't elected by the American people to be president. I think my father is gonna do a tremendous job. And I wanna help him do that. But I don't think that it will make me a more effective advocate to constantly articulate every issue publicly where I disagree," Ivanka Trump said.

"Saturday Night Live" parodied the critiques during an episode in March with a faux advertisement for an Ivanka Trump-branded perfume named "Complicit."

"I don’t know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any differently than I am doing," Ivanka Trump told King. "So I hope to make a positive impact. I don’t know what it means to be complicit, but you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly that my father’s administration is the success that I know it will be."

She also said that she has "no involvement" in her namesake brand, and has instead left her business with "independent trustees" - her brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

In taking on an official role in the White House, Ivanka Trump filed financial disclosure and conflicts of interest forms that are standard for all federal employees.

"I take a legal document very seriously. I wouldn't go through the pains of setting this up if I intended to violate it," Ivanka Trump said.

She said that she would not, however, be selling her business.

"Because the name of the business is Ivanka Trump, had I sold the business, an independent third party would be able to go around the globe today licensing and leveraging the name of the 45th president of the United States of America completely unfettered," she argued.

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