Remember When Ivanka Trump Defended Her Dad’s View of Women on Dr. Oz?

A month before the groping tape, she called talk of his misogyny a “false narrative.”

Evan Vucci/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


In the hours after the Washington Post released a video of Donald Trump bragging about groping women and condoning sexual assault, Ivanka Trump, who has served as the campaign’s main prime surrogate for attracting women voters, has said nothing publicly. But a month ago, Trump’s oldest daughter tried to shut down questions about her father’s treatment of women. In a much-watched joint appearance on Dr. Mehmet Oz’s television show, Ivanka and her father dismissed the idea that he is a misogynist. The pair blamed the media and Democrats for creating and promoting the idea that Donald Trump does not respect women. Ivanka pooh-poohed criticism of her father’s attitudes toward women as a “false narrative.”

During the show, Trump declared, “I have such respect for women.” He went on: “My mother was one of the great people I’ve of known in my life. I just think that somehow I have a narrative out there —you know, when you have hundreds of millions of dollars spent on you in advertising, okay, on advertising, on false advertising in many cases, but negative hit jobs, you know, I guess maybe—”

Dr. Oz cut him off. “You have said unkind things about women. Do you regret those?” Trump demurred. He referenced his many appearances on Howard Stern’s radio show in the 1990s and 2000s, when the two made oafish and lewd comments about women, noting that they we “have fun” and that he wouldn’t have said those things as a politician. It was, he suggested, just boys being boys.

Then Ivanka Trump jumped in:

I do think there is a bit of a false narrative on this out there, though, in that my father speaks his mind. So whether it’s a man or a woman, if you attack him he’ll attack you back. In a certain way, it would be strange if he handled women and men differently. So he can be a little rough with people once in a while, but it is often that they’re coming at you first, almost always that they’re coming at you first.

In other words: Trump is fine with women and treats tas he does men.

This wasn’t the first time that Ivanka Trump felt compelled to defend her father on this front. In May, during an interview with CBS’ Norah O’Donnell, she insisted that her father was “not a groper.” Oops.

Trump released a statement on Friday afternoon saying, “I apologize if anyone was offended.” When it became clear that many people—including Republicans—considered that a tepid response, he released a video statement around midnight in which he briefly apologized, attacked Bill Clinton, and called the video a “distraction from the important issues we’re facing today.” As of Saturday afternoon, there was still no word from Ivanka Trump and no indication whether she still believes that all the nasty stories about her father are just a “false narrative.”

Here’s the full transcript of that exchange with Dr. Oz:

Oz: And there is a misconception—that I think you would argue anyway—about the views that you have on women. And this comes up a lot. Why do you think there is such a discussion going on now about that problem?

Donald Trump: I don’t know. You know, it’s very interesting. Because I just think, look, I have such respect for women. My mother was one of the great people I’ve of known in my life. I just think that somehow I have a narrative out there — you know, when you have hundreds of millions of dollars spent on you in advertising, okay, on advertising, on false advertising in many cases, but negative hit jobs, you know, I guess maybe—

Oz: You have said unkind things about women. Do you regret those?

Donald Trump: It depends what you’re talking about. I’ll give you an example: When I’m having fun, when I was never going to be a politician. I decided a year and a half ago, let’s do it to straighten out country, because the country is a mess. But before that had I known I was going to be a politician—Howard Stern is a friend of mine—I wouldn’t have done his show. We have fun. We have fun. A lot of people understand that. We have fun. So we’ll talk about women. We’ll talk about men. We’ll talk about everything, and we’re all having a good time. Now if I ever as running for president, I wouldn’t have done the show, or I would have given him very boring answers. We’re all having fun together.

Ivanka Trump: I do think there is a bit of a false narrative on this out there, though, in that my father speaks his mind. So whether it’s a man or a woman, if you attack him he’ll attack you back. In a certain way, it would be strange if he handled women and men differently. so he can be a little rough with people once in a while, but it is often that they’re coming at you first, almost always that they’re coming at you first.

Trump: I like to be nice to people, but sometimes people aren’t nice to me.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate