WASHINGTON – Senior White House adviser and President Donald Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka Trump is facing criticism for going to a family resort in New Jersey earlier this month despite White House guidelines against discretionary travel.
The New York Times first reported Thursday that she traveled to Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey with her husband, Jared Kushner and their three children to celebrate the first night of Passover, which was April 8.
Several voices on social media accused Ivanka Trump – who has strongly promoted the administration's social distancing guidelines – of hypocrisy for leaving Washington for a seder after advising others to stay home.
"Federal guidelines against discretionary travel and DC’s stay at home order apparently don’t apply if you’re Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner," tweeted Philip Rucker, White House bureau chief for The Washington Post.
"Sure, Ivanka Trump could have stayed in DC as federal guidelines advised, but why do that when you can make a promotional appearance at one of your father's properties multiple states away?" said the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
"There is not a single rule that applies to Ivanka and Jared," tweeted Joe Lockhart, who served as White House press secretary under former President Bill Clinton. "They are the chosen ones and it's only the rest of us that have to follow the rules."
The White House defended Ivanka Trump and Kushner's trip to the golf club, which is currently closed, as "no different than had she been traveling to/from work."
"Ivanka – with her immediate family – celebrated Passover at a closed down facility considered to be a family home," the White House said in a statement. "The location was less populated than the surrounding area near her home in D.C."
"Her travel was not commercial. She chose to spend a holiday in private with her family," the statement said.
Kushner returned to Washington while Ivanka Trump remained in Bedminster, about 45 miles west of Manhattan, according to the Times. The White House said Ivanka Trump has been "practicing social distancing and working remotely" while there.
On Sunday, she shared a picture of herself with her daughter Arabella, and the masks they made as examples of how to comply with the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wear face coverings in public.
"Remember, while face coverings/masks are helpful, there’s no substitute for social distancing! Let’s protect and take care of one another! #TogetherApart," she added in another tweet.
Ivanka Trump has been a vocal advocate for people to follow the administration's guidelines, particularly the advice to stay home.
"Practice social distancing & save lives! Follow all CDC guidelines and please, please stay home if you are able! #TogetherApart," she tweeted on March 18.
In a March 23 video, she thanked "those who are self-isolating and self-quarantining and following the CDC guidelines."
"We're all in this together," she said. "We'll emerge from this stronger than ever before, and maybe more deeply and profoundly connected with our own humanity and our core values."
In another tweet, she shared an image of a boy holding a sign that read, "My mom is a doctor. She stays away from me to help U. Can U please stay at home to help her?"
"Please do your part to slow the spread. #StayHomeSaveLives," she said.
After her father announced the social distancing guidelines would remain in place through April 30, she said in another video it "goes without saying that this will be an enormous challenge for all of us individually and collectively."
"But those lucky enough to be in a position to stay at home, please, please do so. Each and every one of us plays a role in slowing the spread and social distancing saves lives."