Ivanka Trump says she was heartbroken after seeing images this week of US Border Patrol agents firing tear gas into crowds that included migrant children. In an interview on Good Morning America Wednesday, she also claimed the ongoing situation at the border makes her “angry.”
But when asked about the president’s recent decision to authorize the military to use lethal force on migrants, the first daughter—who serves as a senior adviser to her father—appeared to be learning the news for the first time. Visibly perplexed, she also suggested it was likely untrue.
“I don’t believe that’s what he said, but his primary role as commander in chief is obviously to protect the nation’s borders,” Ivanka Trump said. “He has to protect our country’s security. But lethal force, in this case, that is not something that anyone is talking about.”
One problem: That’s exactly what her father is talking about.
“If they have to, they’re going to use lethal force,” Trump told reporters from Mar-a-Lago on Thursday. “I’ve given the okay, if they have to. I hope they don’t have to.”
When producers confronted Ivanka Trump with the clip of the president confirming he had authorized lethal force on migrants attempting to enter the country, the first daughter quickly attempted to clarify her remarks. “So, lethal force under any circumstance would be the last resort,” she said. “But he is the commander in chief of the armed forces of this country, so he always has to be able to protect the border.”
“He’s not talking about innocents,” she added. “So, he’s not talking about innocent asylum-seekers.”
.@IvankaTrump on the crisis at the border: "It's devastating to see the images and seeing children put at risk…it makes me angry that we haven't been able to come together as a nation and change our laws." https://t.co/vN9BjW67gR pic.twitter.com/GgyzBsUEHR
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 28, 2018
This isn’t the first time Ivanka Trump has demonstrated a lack of understanding regarding her father’s immigration policies. Though she made headlines this summer by calling the Trump administration’s family separation policy a personal “low point,” a closer look at her remarks revealed that she didn’t appear to understand the timeline of the controversial policy. She also went on to echo the administration’s various defenses of it.