Ivanka Trump on Thursday said she does not believe the press is the "enemy of the people," going against public statements made by her father regarding the media.
"No, I do not feel like the media is the enemy of the people," said Ivanka, the eldest daughter of US President Donald Trump and an assistant to the president, at an event hosted by the news website Axios.
Ivanka said she believes there have been stories about her that are false but wouldn't go as far as to say the press is the "enemy." Her father has repeatedly described the press in such terms.
On Sunday, for example, Trump caused a firestorm when he tweeted about a meeting he had with the publisher of The New York Times.
"Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into the phrase, 'Enemy of the People.' Sad!" he wrote.
The president has also habitually lambasted the press at his rallies. Some of his supporters made headlines at his latest rally after heckling CNN's Jim Acosta at an event in Tampa, Florida.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday addressed the incident, saying the Trump administration supports a free press. But she went on to bash the media for what she described as putting lives in danger by reporting on classified intelligence. In the process, she cited an urban myth about reporting on Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.
Ivanka on Thursday also seemed to distance herself from the president on the issue of immigration, saying the recent news of family separations at the border was "a low point" for her.
"I felt very strongly about that and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children so I would agree with that sentiment," Ivanka said. "Immigration is incredibly complex as a topic. Illegal immigration is incredibly complicated."
Ivanka added that she is the daughter of an immigrant – her mother, Ivana Trump, is from the Czech Republic – and she is sympathetic to these issues. But she made it clear she believes immigration laws should be upheld.
"We are a country of laws," Ivanka said. "We have to be very careful about incentivizing behaviour that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone. These are not easy issues, these are incredibly difficult issues and like the rest of the country, I experienced them actually in a very emotional way."
The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy saw thousands of migrant families separated at the US-Mexico border in recent months, sparking widespread public outcry. Under mounting pressure, the president signed an executive order in June to keep families together. Since that time, thousands of families have been reunified by hundreds of children are still reportedly in government custody.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: