Turns out both Donald Trump and Eric Trump were wrong about how Ivanka Trump would handle sexual harassment.
The daughter of the Republican presidential nominee has stayed silent about her personal experiences with the issue as her brother and father have both commented on the sexual harassment issues of Roger Ailes, the ousted CEO of Fox News.
Donald Trump defended Ailes multiple times, and in an interview with USA Today suggested that if his daughter was sexually harassed she would switch jobs or career. In defending the widely criticized comments, his son Eric Trump said on “CBS This Morning” that Ivanka Trump was a strong woman so sexual harassment wouldn’t happen to her. Many took his comments as an example of victim-blaming.
But neither of them were right, as Ivanka Trump wrote in her book “The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life” that she was sexually harassed by construction workers multiple times, and it never prompted her to switch jobs or careers. Though in her case, she acknolwedges an advantage she has over other women in those situations.
“But in those cases, the workers never realized I was the boss’s daughter,” and they apologized profusely when they found out, she wrote in the book, which was published in 2009.
Ivanka Trump also implied the issue did bother her, enough that she had an “anxiety dream” the night before she started her first job on a development team at Forest City Ratner. She said she dreamed she was walking through the construction site with her boss when a construction worker whistled at her.
“I couldn’t shake thinking that I needed to come up with a disarming line to defuse the situation and keep the embarrassment level to a minimum,” she wrote. “After all, I kept reminding myself, my new boss would be observing my reaction, which meant that if anything like that happened it would put me into an uncomfortable, no-win situation. If I ignored the inappropriate remarks, I might come across as weak. If I responded too harshly, I’d be a tightly wound witch.”
But in light of her father’s and brother’s comments about her specifically, Ivanka Trump has remained reserved. In a statement to the New York Times and in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Tuesday night, she gave very general statements about sexual harassment and didn’t address the comments of her male family members at all.
“Harassment in general, sexual or otherwise, is inexcusable. At our companies, we do not tolerate harassment of any kind,” Ivanka Trump said in the statement to the Times. “Our policies both on paper and in practice require that every complaint be fully investigated and if claims are substantiated, our H.R. team takes swift disciplinary action.”
The interview portion with Van Susteren on sexual harassment was similarly worded, and Van Susteren did not push back for more information.