A former childhood friend of Ivanka Trump has harshly criticised her for supporting father’s "repugnant" policies. In an article in Vanity Fair magazine, Lysandra Ohrstrom, a freelance journalist who has reported on Lebanon and the United States for more than 10 years, said Ivanka had spent her career developing and embodying "a more polished and intellectual offshoot of the Trump brand”. Her objective, Ohrstrom writes, was to serve as an inspirational example of a "woman who works" to the middle-class housewives. The journalist remembers how people marvelled at how the young Ivanka had turned out to be so unlike her parents - "polite, refined, and fun to be around".
When Donald Trump won the 2016 election, she was sure that Ivanka would step in to moderate what Ohrstrom described as her father's "most regressive, racist tendencies". Ivanka’s decision to align her fate with her father’s laid waste to the image she had worked so diligently to build, Ohrstrom writes.
“I’ve had countless conversations with friends who also grew up with Ivanka about how appalled we are that she didn’t publicly oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, or any of her dad’s especially repugnant policies", Ohrstrom writes.
Why hasn't she spoken about Ivanka before? According to the journalist, her disgust at Donald Trump’s policies was outweighed by fear of "being dragged through the mud, dismissed by the family as a nasty loser".
Ohrstrom says that after she voted for Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, she decided to write about her friendship with Ivanka without intending to publish the story. However, the journalist notes, the more she wrote about her ex-friend, the more she realised that she didn’t owe Ivanka silence.
"For the past four years I have tried to tune out the conversation that dominated international media, but it is nearly impossible to ignore when the person who used to pluck ingrown hairs from your bikini line suddenly appoints herself to the role of unelected public official and begins to torch democracy", Ohrstrom writes.
At the same time, she notes that although she has become repulsed by Ivanka’s ability to aid and abet her father, she still misses her old friend.
"I miss going to Green Kitchen on First Avenue at 1 a.m. for "mozzarazza" hailing down a gondola in Amsterdam for a tour, belting out 'Anna Begins' and songs from Les Mis [musical Les Miserables] on a road trip. But most of all, I miss the time when the Trump family quest for power was not dangerous to the country", she writes.
Claims About Ivanka and Donald Trump
In her article, Ohrstrom also spoke about her friendship with Ivanka and remembered incidents that occurred when she spent time with the Trump family.
Speaking about Donald Trump, she said the 45th president never remembered her name, but had a photographic memory when it came to changes in her body and always congratulated her whenever she lost weight. In another recollection about the Republican president, Ohrstrom writes about how the businessman-turned-politician had delivered a toast to guests at his country club Mar-a-Lago.
The journalist writes that Trump addressed everyone in the room as "the richest Jews in the world", complimented their luxury sports cars, and spoke about his war with a neighbouring "Waspy" country club, which he called a dump. Ohrstrom claims that in reality, Trump is insecure.
"Palm Beach’s old-guard communities were among the few not seduced by his wealth", the journalist said.
Ohrstrom goes on to say that when she started wearing a necklace with her name written in Arabic, Ivanka became irritated. The journalist’s pro-Palestinian stance in the Arab-Israeli conflict reportedly started to chafe Ivanka, who at that time had started dating her future husband Jared Kushner, whose family is Orthodox Jewish. At one point Ivanka told her friend:
"How does your Jewish boyfriend feel when you are having sex and that necklace hits him in the face? How can you wear that thing? It just screams, 'terrorist'", Ivanka said, as cited by the journalist.
Ivanka called Ohrstrom a Marxist when the two had a disagreement when speaking about unaffordable housing in Manhattan.
Ohrstrom claims that Ivanka had always turned to her for advice on what books to read. However, she didn't appreciate the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Empire Falls" about the life of a diner manager in a working-class community.
"Ly, why would you tell me to read a book about f**king poor people? What part of you thinks I would be interested in this", said Ivanka, as cited by Ohrstrom.
According to Ohrstrom, the two grew apart after Ivanka sent a rude text message. The journalist had started a new job in a different field, a day after Ivanka’s wedding with Jared Kushner. She writes that a few days or weeks later, Ivanka had still not asked her how things were at her new work place. Ohrstrom then sent Ivanka a text message:
"Hey, I started a new job the day after your wedding, and you haven’t asked me a single question about it".
Ivanka then replied: "Ly, I’m too busy for this sh*t".