In what was clearly a jibe at her former friend Ivanka Trump, Chelsea said in 2018 that she would never have worked in her mother’s administration. First Daughter Ivanka is a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, as is her husband Jared Kushner. Neither had any experience in policy-making before, having worked in the world of business most of their working lives.
In an interview with The Guardian, Chelsea, who was the First Daughter from 1993 to 2001 during her father Bill Clinton’s presidency, seemed to share others’ concern about the apparent nepotism in the Trump White House.
Chelsea said: “I think the president should be able to hire whoever he or she thinks are best qualified.
“I do not believe that many of the people that he has hired have been qualified to do the jobs.
“Not only do I want an administration that isn’t venal, corrupt and focused on making life harder for millions of Americans, I also want a competent administration.
“For me, the larger question is the collision of cruelty and incompetence and corruption that we see across the administration.”
Chelsea, who has spoken out against Mr Trump and his presidency many times on social media, came to verbal blows with him on the subject of Ivanka back in 2017.
When the decision to have the First Daughter sit in for her father during a meeting of world leaders at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, was widely criticised, Mr Trump attempted to defend this.
He tweeted: “If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say Chelsea for Pres!”
Chelsea promptly responded: “Good morning Mr President. It would never have occurred to my mother or father to ask me.
“Were you giving our country away? Hoping not.”
In response to a question from The Guardian about whether Ivanka was “complicit” for going along with her father’s “grotesque bidding”, Chelsea said she didn’t always agree with her parents on political issues, and where she didn’t she would not have gone along with it.
She used the example of her mother’s 2008 presidential bid, when they differed on the issue of gay marriage.
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She said: “In 2008 I was really proud to support my [Mum] ‒ but I disagreed with her fundamentally on a few things, particularly her then-opposition to equal marriage rights for LGBTQ Americans.
“I never defended that position, because it wasn’t what I believed was the right thing to do.”
When the interviewer asked whether, as a former president’s daughter, she felt any sympathy for Ivanka’s situation, she said firmly that she did not.
She pointed out that, unlike Chelsea who had been just 12 years old when her father was elected president, Ivanka is an adult responsible for her own decisions.
The children’s books author said: “She’s an adult. She can make the choices for herself. I mean, she’s 37. We are responsible for our choices.”
In 2018, Chelsea also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, in which she said that Ivanka was more than just a child of a president, she works for the administration and should therefore be held accountable not just for her own actions, but the actions of the government itself.
Her fiery words are a world away from what she would have said a few years ago.
The two women, who are less than two years apart in age, were good friends for a while.
They were both wealthy and busy working mothers living in Manhattan, who were household names by virtue of their famous parents.
They were sometimes spotted together on the red carpet at high society events, such as Glamour’s 2014 Woman of the Year awards at Carnegie Hall.
In a 2015 interview in Vogue, Chelsea praised her friend and even compared her to her own father.
She said: “There’s nothing skin-deep about Ivanka. She’s always aware of everyone around her and ensuring that everyone is enjoying the moment.
“It’s an awareness that in some ways reminds me of my dad, and his ability to increase the joy of the room.”
During the 2016 election campaign, Ivanka said she was sure they would remain friends, but she was wrong.
In 2018, Chelsea said she had not spoken to Ivanka “in a long time”.
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