Ivanka Trump believes her father has a “genius” that mesmerizes her, according to White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.
“She does believe that he’s got a genius,” Haberman told Katie Couric’s podcast on Thursday. “She believes that there are things that he can intuit that other people can’t. And she is very riveted by it.”
Haberman has covered Donald Trump for years, previously for Politico and since 2015 for The New York Times, which the president loves to accuse of “fake news.” She discussed both the president and his older daughter in a wide-ranging interview with Couric, offering her assessments of Donald Trump’s ideology and Michael Wolff’s tell-all book about the White House.
Haberman said that Ivanka Trump has become the “spitting image” of her father, even though the two have had policy differences.
She “has gone from being sort of a somewhat resentful daughter to really being, in many ways, the spitting image of him — not physically, obviously,” said Haberman. “But she’s him without a lot of the flash and style.”
The first daughter has a “very similar set of grievances,” according to Haberman. “She has a very similar sense that people are being unfair to her,” the journalist added.
“Like him, she believed that they would walk in and be treated deferentially, and she’s been a little surprised at how D.C. actually is.”
But Jared Kushner and his wife are “very different people,” Haberman observed. “Jared is very sort of chill and flat, and speaks as little as possible.”
Haberman, who was writing political stories about Donald Trump back in 2011 and witnessed him breathe life into the birther attack on President Barack Obama, said that Trump didn’t have a strategy during his presidential campaign and doesn’t have an ideology now.
“If people wanted to believe during the campaign that there was a strategy, that’s fine. But there wasn’t a strategy. He did things because it felt good to him or because he liked it or because it was fun,” she told Couric.
As for his political beliefs, “there is no ideology,” Haberman said. Trump is “perfectly comfortable being inconsistent on policy. He is perfectly comfortable taking two conflicting positions.”
Couric asked about the accuracy of Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. She summarized several points in the book: Trump “doesn’t read, he is semi-literate, he doesn’t prepare, he knows almost nothing about policy or politics, he’s extremely moody, thin-skinned.”
Haberman responded, “It’s what I’ve been reporting for two years. Yeah, sounds right.”
Check out the rest of the podcast above.