Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump work for the administration
When the going gets tough, they seem to be absent
The White House is reeling from President Donald Trump’s Tuesday firing of FBI Director James Comey and subsequent fallout. Vice President Mike Pence, press secretary Sean Spicer and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders scrambled to defend the decision.
But where are Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump? On more than one occasion, the power couple has been seemingly absent when the going gets tough.
In March, while the administration’s first crack at repealing Obamacare struggled to gain traction, the pair was on the slopes in Aspen, Colorado, for a family tradition ski trip.
In April, when leaks of infighting within the administration were on top of the news cycle, they were celebrating Passover at the Four Seasons Whistler in Canada, according to reports.
And this week was no exception. Though the President’s daughter and son-in-law remained in Washington and working at the White House, they stayed under the radar and away from the cameras following news of Comey’s departure.
Ivanka Trump spoke at an event honoring military families just before the news of Comey’s departure broke late Tuesday afternoon. She had not made any public appearances since, with the exception of a pooled-press event at the White House Friday.
She posts prolifically on social media – sometimes multiple times a day. But following Monday snaps from a visit to a popular Hirshhorn Museum exhibit and a meeting with biomedical community leaders, she’s been relatively quiet compared to her usual posting pattern – sharing only a photo from Tueday’s event, a link to an article on paid family leave, a #TBT from her trip to Berlin and an #FBF from a September visit to Virginia Beach.
Kushner, who does not post on social media, joined his wife at the Tuesday event with their three children and did not attend any other public events.
The couple was also spotted on a date night Monday evening at Iron Gate, per Politico.
The only sightings post-Comey firing? Paparazzi snapped them returning from a morning workout on Thursday and Ivanka Trump posted an Oval Office photo Friday of a meeting with a school’s rocket team.
The White House did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on Kushner and Trump’s whereabouts.
The two have carefully cultivated their brand as a moderating influence within the administration, with selective leaks about the couple crafting a moderate image on issues like climate change and LGBT rights.
And Trump and Kushner, who are modern Orthodox Jews, are not able to work or use technology from about sundown Friday to Saturday night.
Coincidentally – or not – some of Trump’s most controversial tweets and actions have come during these times, including a tweet alleging President Barack Obama “had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,” a news conference the day after the inauguration defending his crowd sizes, and the initial implementation of his travel ban, among others.
The couple’s absences have allowed them to to avoid any major gaffes or mishaps – or taking a position one way or the other – as hot-button issues have played out.
The President’s daughter recently assumed an official role in the administration as an adviser. She moved into a West Wing office and obtained a security clearance in late March. She serves as her father’s eyes and ears on a variety of issues, including women’s economic empowerment and education.
Kushner also has a broad portfolio within the West Wing, where he has an influential purview over a range of foreign and domestic policy issues. He is heading up the Office of American Innovation, a new White House office aimed at reforming the federal government through private-sector solutions.
A Quinnipiac University poll released last month found that a majority of registered voters disapprove of the adviser roles held by Trump and Kushner.
About 53% of respondents said the first daughter playing a significant role in the White House is not appropriate, compared with 36% who said it was appropriate and 10% who did not have an opinion. About 53% said Kushner’s role was not appropriate, compared to 32% of respondents who said it was appropriate and 15% who did not know.
This story has been updated.