White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders criticized media coverage of Ivanka Trump. Speaking on Tuesday, Sanders said that President Donald Trump's daughter has been treated unfairly in media accounts. During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Sanders said, "I frankly, I think it's shameful the way that she's been treated." Sanders went on to say, "If she didn't have the same last name, they would be celebrating her." She added, "They would be praising her. They would be thanking God that she is sitting in a position that she is to influence policy and help women across this country."
Sanders has herself been the focus of ridicule at times. Saturday Night Live has featured sketches in which actress Aidy Bryant depicted Sanders -- the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- alongside Melissa McCarthy, who played former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. "And instead, they attack her, they shame her, and they belittle her. I think it's very shameful," said Sanders, "and I think it's sad because she's such a good advocate for so many women. And for them to attack her, I think, is just really disheartening."
In the interview with Hewitt, Sanders described the work that Ivanka Trump does for the Trump administration. "She’s done a great job working with the World Bank, through helping female entrepreneurs across the globe. They announced that that initiative was fully operational as of this week." Sanders added, "I think being able to talk about those things, being able to highlight actual policy successes, is the best way to help show what she’s doing and what a success story she has."
Currently, Ivanka Trump serves as senior adviser. Her husband, Jared Kushner, shares the same title in the administration.
Their presence in the Trump administration has been the source of criticism from Democrats. In a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) wrote that Ivanka Trump should not be part of the World Bank's Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. Citing Ivanka Trump's brand of clothing, which has been pulled from several stores, Cardin wrote, "I believe it would not be appropriate for her to serve as a public advocate for the fund.” Cardin wrote, “As long as Ms. Trump continues to benefit financially from a brand that bears her name, her involvement with [the initiative] creates the potential for conflicts of interest that could stand in the way of achieving the fund’s goals.”
While Ivanka Trump handed off management of the clothing line when she came to the White House, she has not yet divested herself from the business, despite criticisms.