Ivanka Trump’s interview with Cosmopolitan was anything but comfortable.
Trump spoke with senior writer Prachi Gupta over the phone on Wednesday to discuss the new paid maternity leave position taken on by her father and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The presidential candidate has been trying to broaden his appeal to female voters with the help of newcampaign manager Kellyanne Conway and the launch of his Women Empowerment Tour.
Gupta asked Trump about this and more in their phone interview, but the mood shifted when Gupta asked Trump about parental leave.
Ivanka Trump wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal to provide specifics for her father’s latest campaign position. She stated that women were often charged for child care, whereas men were often exempt. Trump saw that factor as assisting in a difference between male and female earnings. According to Gupta, paternity leave would help offset the disparity in pay. Gupta wanted to know whether the proposed plan included paternity leave.
Trump said that the plan was designed to assist mothers who needed time to recover from childbirth as well as give parents time to bond with their newborns. The benefit included parents in same-sex marriages.
Gupta asked about two male parents who chose to adopt and whether they would be granted leave to bond with their newborn. “The policy is fleshed out online, so you can go see all the elements of it,” Trump replied. She said that the plan was designed “to help mothers in recovery in the immediate aftermath of childbirth.”
Gupta sought clarification, asking Trump if “they would not be receiving special leave for that because they don’t need to recover or anything.” Trump responded “Those are your words, not mine” and repeated herself about the original intent of the plan.
Gupta then asked about a comment Trump’s father made in 2004, when he praised pregnancy as a personal decision but called it an “inconvenience for a business.” Gupta said that his position on mandatory paid maternity leave for businesses was a bit surprising. She asked for clarification on the comment in the face of an attitude shift.
Trump accused Gupta’s questions of having “a lot of negativity.” “So I don’t know how useful it is to spend too much time with you on this if you’re going to make a comment like that,” she snipped. Trump also called the characterization “unfair” in the face of what she called his advocacy for women in the workplace.
Gupta apologized but called the questions relevant. She pointed to the 2004 interview after Trump said “I don’t know that he said those comments.”
After one more question, Trump said “I’m going to jump off, I have to run. I apologize.”
Ivanka Trump first planted a public seed advocating for paid maternity leave with her father’s campaign during her speech at the Republican National Convention in July. She was criticized for working with New York-based G-III Apparel Group, a company that did not offer paid leave for new parents. A representative said that the company, which also works with Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Jessica Simpson brands, was not owned by Trump.
The Washington Post reported that Trump released a statement after signing a licensing agreement in 2012 praising the company for distinguishing “itself as a trusted partner for some of the world’s finest and most visible brands. We are confident that they share our vision for the future of our brand and business and look forward to a long and successful partnership.”