Donald Trump defends Ivanka Trump personal email use but nobody's buying the story; the irony is just too much

New York: ‘Crooked Hillary’ - a moniker widely regarded by political strategists as being the most effective one US president Donald Trump came up with to attack Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US elections has come back to haunt an embattled White House which is into full-on damage control mode after Washington Post broke a bombshell story about Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a top White House adviser, sending “hundreds of emails” about government business from a personal email account last year.

Overall, it’s beginning to look like payback time, and not just because of the Ivanka Trump email story. “The discovery alarmed some advisers to President Trump, who feared that his daughter’s prac­tices bore similarities to the personal email use of Hillary Clinton, an issue he made a focus of his 2016 campaign", noted the Post story.

File image of US president Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump. Reuters

File image of US president Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump. Reuters

Ivanka Trump's father Donald Trump is underlining the difference between Hillary Trump's use and Ivanka Trump's - "They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton," Trump said. "They weren't deleted like Hillary Clinton, who deleted 33,000. She wasn't doing anything to hide her emails." Yes and no, because the story of Ivanka Trump's emails in a Trump-led White House isn't about the scale of use or the emails themselves, it's the hypocrisy. The joke's on Trump and the tweets are writing themselves.

America Oversight, the group that obtained the emails, has called on Congress to investigate and Democrats, who have a whopping lead in the House after the midterm elections, are only be too happy to follow through with a wave of aggressive oversight investigations into the Trump administration.

“The president’s family is not above the law, and there are serious questions that Congress should immediately investigate,” Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, told the Wall Street Journal.

“President Trump and senior leaders in Congress have made it very clear that they view the use of personal email servers for government business to be a serious offence that demands investigation and even prosecution, and we expect the same standard will be applied in this case,” Evers said.

"She's either criminally stupid or criminally arrogant, I don't know, maybe both”, Paul Begala, former adviser to President Bill Clinton, told CNN, referring to Ivanka Trump.

“There’s so much self enrichment going on!”, “Lock Her Up”, is echoing on Twitter; the backlash has begun, #CrookedIvanka is a thing and all this at a time when ‘Lock Her Up’ chants continue to reverberate at Trump rallies.

Democrats will have to handle this with care. They have subpoena power but if Ivanka Trump goes before any committee and emerges from, say, a 5 hour hearing, her performance will be hailed by her father as heroic and end up becoming a huge black eye for the Democrats.

Unlike most other First Daughters - think Chelsea Clinton, Sasha and Malia Obama from recent times - Ivanka Trump makes for an atypical character. She has rarely portrayed any hesitation about being the central act of the Trump drama. When Trump took office, she was already 35 and lording over the family’s real estate empire and over the last two years, she has muscled her way into the White House power team despite major run-ins with top staffers. She held a seat for Donald Trump at the G-20 meetings, she sits in on diplomatic phone calls, sashayed into World Bank meetings and is wooed as a guest by heads of state who know nothing makes Trump happier than to see his daughter being treated like a royal career Barbie.

So, what next? The Trump administration has a special expertise in distraction games. When it sees a story blowing up, it's going to say these are not the droids you’re looking for.

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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2018 06:44:49 IST

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