Remember When Ivanka Trump Defended Her Dad’s View of Women on Dr. Oz?

A month before the groping tape, she called talk of his misogyny a “false narrative.”

Evan Vucci/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


In the hours after the Washington Post released a video of Donald Trump bragging about groping women and condoning sexual assault, Ivanka Trump, who has served as the campaign’s main prime surrogate for attracting women voters, has said nothing publicly. But a month ago, Trump’s oldest daughter tried to shut down questions about her father’s treatment of women. In a much-watched joint appearance on Dr. Mehmet Oz’s television show, Ivanka and her father dismissed the idea that he is a misogynist. The pair blamed the media and Democrats for creating and promoting the idea that Donald Trump does not respect women. Ivanka pooh-poohed criticism of her father’s attitudes toward women as a “false narrative.”

During the show, Trump declared, “I have such respect for women.” He went on: “My mother was one of the great people I’ve of known in my life. I just think that somehow I have a narrative out there —you know, when you have hundreds of millions of dollars spent on you in advertising, okay, on advertising, on false advertising in many cases, but negative hit jobs, you know, I guess maybe—”

Dr. Oz cut him off. “You have said unkind things about women. Do you regret those?” Trump demurred. He referenced his many appearances on Howard Stern’s radio show in the 1990s and 2000s, when the two made oafish and lewd comments about women, noting that they we “have fun” and that he wouldn’t have said those things as a politician. It was, he suggested, just boys being boys.

Then Ivanka Trump jumped in:

I do think there is a bit of a false narrative on this out there, though, in that my father speaks his mind. So whether it’s a man or a woman, if you attack him he’ll attack you back. In a certain way, it would be strange if he handled women and men differently. So he can be a little rough with people once in a while, but it is often that they’re coming at you first, almost always that they’re coming at you first.

In other words: Trump is fine with women and treats tas he does men.

This wasn’t the first time that Ivanka Trump felt compelled to defend her father on this front. In May, during an interview with CBS’ Norah O’Donnell, she insisted that her father was “not a groper.” Oops.

Trump released a statement on Friday afternoon saying, “I apologize if anyone was offended.” When it became clear that many people—including Republicans—considered that a tepid response, he released a video statement around midnight in which he briefly apologized, attacked Bill Clinton, and called the video a “distraction from the important issues we’re facing today.” As of Saturday afternoon, there was still no word from Ivanka Trump and no indication whether she still believes that all the nasty stories about her father are just a “false narrative.”

Here’s the full transcript of that exchange with Dr. Oz:

Oz: And there is a misconception—that I think you would argue anyway—about the views that you have on women. And this comes up a lot. Why do you think there is such a discussion going on now about that problem?

Donald Trump: I don’t know. You know, it’s very interesting. Because I just think, look, I have such respect for women. My mother was one of the great people I’ve of known in my life. I just think that somehow I have a narrative out there — you know, when you have hundreds of millions of dollars spent on you in advertising, okay, on advertising, on false advertising in many cases, but negative hit jobs, you know, I guess maybe—

Oz: You have said unkind things about women. Do you regret those?

Donald Trump: It depends what you’re talking about. I’ll give you an example: When I’m having fun, when I was never going to be a politician. I decided a year and a half ago, let’s do it to straighten out country, because the country is a mess. But before that had I known I was going to be a politician—Howard Stern is a friend of mine—I wouldn’t have done his show. We have fun. We have fun. A lot of people understand that. We have fun. So we’ll talk about women. We’ll talk about men. We’ll talk about everything, and we’re all having a good time. Now if I ever as running for president, I wouldn’t have done the show, or I would have given him very boring answers. We’re all having fun together.

Ivanka Trump: I do think there is a bit of a false narrative on this out there, though, in that my father speaks his mind. So whether it’s a man or a woman, if you attack him he’ll attack you back. In a certain way, it would be strange if he handled women and men differently. so he can be a little rough with people once in a while, but it is often that they’re coming at you first, almost always that they’re coming at you first.

Trump: I like to be nice to people, but sometimes people aren’t nice to me.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate