Ivanka coy about her Democratic partners in policy talks

WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump swears she has Democratic allies — but she’s not naming names.

“You have to, especially in an environment like this, you have to work to earn trust … and I’ve worked very hard to do that,” the first daughter and adviser to the president said Wednesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

“And I don’t want to call out names because a lot of people who engaged with me in the most substantive way have done so because they know that I’m not going to violate their confidence and share their perspectives publicly.”

Ivanka was on hand to talk about paid family leave, a program she’s been pushing since even before her father, President Trump, took office 18 months ago.

A number of Republican lawmakers have been attached to the latest effort, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah and Joni Ernst of Iowa, with Ivanka complimenting Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bill Cassidy of Louisiana for holding a hearing on the topic last week.

But at the hearing, Democrats weren’t fans of an idea Republicans pitched — to use Social Security funds to pay for the leave. “It’s robbing from your retirement to be able to care for your loved ones now,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said at the time.

On Wednesday, Ivanka cautioned lawmakers: “Don’t shut down the conversation as it’s gaining momentum. We need a bipartisan solution if this is actually going to be signed into law.”

She also said she continues to be a policy — and not a political — junkie.

“I actually, I took a lot of flack once when I said I don’t view myself as a political animal, I really don’t,” Trump told the crowd. “I care deeply about policy, that’s what motivated me to change course in my life.”

She said those unnamed Democrats who are whispering in her ear are telling her “who we can bring over, who’s the most willing to compromise, who generally is the most thoughtful and dynamic in their thinking and who gets things done.”

Ivanka also said they’re free to out themselves.

“So I’m interested in finding lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who share that trust, and when they want to talk about their discussions with me, I’m sure they will,” she said.

“But I’ve never been one to do that, whether it’s in my home, in my office or oftentimes in their offices or elsewhere on the Hill.”

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