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Ivanka Trump Says She Prefers to Influence the White House in Private

In her first interview since joining her father’s administration in an official capacity, Ivanka Trump said most of her impact on the White House will happen behind the scenes and addressed criticism of her business interests.

“I don’t think that it will make me a more effective advocate to constantly articulate every issue publicly where I disagree,” she told CBS News’ Gayle King. “And that’s okay. That means that I’ll take hits from some critics who say that I should take to the street. And then other people will in the long-term respect where I get to. But I think most of the impact I have, over time most people will not actually know about.”

Trump defended herself against criticism that she has been “complicit” in her father’s policies, saying she shares her opinions “with total candor” with her father in private. “I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence,” she told King.

Trump announced last week that she will take on the role of assistant to the president, officially becoming a federal employee. She stepped away from her Ivanka Trump brand when her father took office, and she told King she now has “no involvement with any of that.”

Trump turned over day-to-day control of the company and put the business in a trust managed by relatives of her husband — a setup that has still raised questions about potential business conflicts.

“I take a legal document very seriously and I wouldn’t go through the pains of setting this up if I intended to violate it,” Trump said during the CBS News interview, responding to criticism about her level of involvement in the company and concerns that she could benefit financially from her White House position.

“I would argue that if I had not come to Washington, D.C. and if I was in New York growing my business I would be doing far better than by placing the restrictions that I have placed on my team, and ensuring that any growth is done with extreme caution. So just practically speaking, if my interest was making money or growing my business, I would do far better to completely disengage and do exactly that.”