The first family has been seemingly divided over Donald Trump’s refusal to concede in the 2020 US elections to President-elect Joe Biden.
His son, Donald Trump Jr, has leaned into his father’s lies and anti-Democratic conspiracy theories about the electoral process, as reports say his daughter, Ivanka Trump, has urged him to concede — while apparently considering her own political future.
Ms Trump, who quickly displayed her own political ambitions following her father’s 2016 election despite not having any government experience, has mostly stayed silent on the administration’s baseless allegations of mass voter fraud.
She posted a single tweet about the issue after Election Day, as her father began ramping up his false claims surrounding mail-in voting and ballot counting, writing three days later: “Every legally cast vote should be counted. Every illegally cast vote should not.”
“This should not be controversial,” she added. “This is not a partisan statement — free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy.”
Every legally cast vote should be counted. Every illegally cast vote should not. This should not be controversial.
This is not a partisan statement — free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy. 🇺🇸
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 6, 2020
The message behind her post was controversial to many critics because it appeared to imply the Democratic Party or some nefarious ballot counters wanted to include “illegally cast” votes in the official election results.
There has been no evidence to indicate the Democratic Party was behind an illegal vote operation, and the Trump campaign has repeatedly failed to show credible examples of fraud.
Behind the scenes, the first daughter has reportedly implored her father to accept the results of the election, as the west wing remained polarized on the issue of his potential concession.
Some reports have indicated her husband, Jared Kushner, was urging the president to continue battling in the courts while holding campaign-like rallies in key states where he’s demanding a recount of the votes. However, other reports have also said he advised Mr Trump that he should eventually concede to the president-elect.
The president posted multiple all-caps tweets on Tuesday, writing to his nearly 90 million online followers: “WE ARE MAKING BIG PROGRESS. RESULTS START TO COME IN NEXT WEEK. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
The official projections for the 2020 presidential elections were announced after it was determined Mr Biden secured more than the 270 electoral votes required to win the White House. Mr Trump only earned 214 electoral votes.
Since then, Mr Trump has been desperate for Republican leaders to show their support for his electoral challenges, though many have remained silent. His closest allies and inner circle has been forced to take the lead, with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani conducting bizarre and chaotic press conferences as his family members travel the country spreading misinformation surrounding the vote.
While litigation remains ongoing, there does not appear to be any pathway the president has in holding onto power come Inauguration Day.
That fact was seemingly becoming clear to some in the president’s orbit, as Vice President Mike Pence also largely avoided any discussion of the election challenges while taking credit for advancements in COVID-19 treatments announced this week.
Ms Trump also credited her father in a tweet on Tuesday, claiming: “Once again, our President defied the expectations of the ‘experts’ and delivered on his ambitious goal of having a safe + effective [vaccine] for the American people by the end of this year!”
Pfizer, which announced its coronavirus vaccine was effective in preventing infection in 90 percent of volunteers, did not receive research funding from the Trump administration.