Ivanka Trump

How Ivanka and Team Cry, Cajole and Carp to Get Her Out of Bad Press

On August 16, 2016, just a few weeks after his father-in-law, Donald J. Trump, had clinched the Republican nomination for president, Esquire magazine ran a story entitled “Jared Kushner’s Second Act.” It was written by veteran journalist Vicky Ward and exposed a number of less-than-flattering details about the then 35-year-old head of his family’s real estate firm, Kushner Companies.

Ward’s profile depicted a young, entitled scion who was at turns arrogant and vindictive. In one sense, the story emasculated Kushner, portraying him as a subservient son-in-law. This was certainly not the image of her husband that Ivanka Trump wanted presented to the world in the glossy pages of a popular men’s magazine.

So she did what any rich, New York City media-connected, powerful spouse would do—and then took it up a couple of notches: Ivanka, according to Ward, called Esquire’s editor-in-chief at the time, Jay Fielden, and literally started crying, pleading with him to take down the story. Firing on all cylinders, Ivanka also texted Ward and said she did not recognize her husband in the Esquire piece. Fielden, Ward told me, instantly saw through Ivanka’s “crocodile tears.” Jared and Ivanka’s side leveled against Ward for falsifying the story. But the piece remained online and was published in the October print issue; no substantive changes or retractions were made to Ward’s reporting. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Ivanka on the Esquire incident.)

“Every reporter knows they will be on the phone to Rupert Murdoch. Their guiding credo is PR above everything else. Ivanka thinks she is brilliant at public relations.”
— Vicky Ward