Ivanka Trump is having a bad week.
The 34-year-old sat down with Cosmopolitan to discuss her father’s maternity leave plan, one the younger Trump has pushed for throughout Donald Trump’s presidential run. That interview, published Wednesday, was cut short, however, after Trump avoided uncomfortable questions about how the plan would affect same-sex parents.
On Tuesday, the billionaire businessman unveiled a policy that would stipulate six weeks of paid time off for recent mothers and lower the cost of child care. Currently, just three states — Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California — mandate paid family and medical leave.
That plan has been the brainchild of Ivanka Trump, who promised to make “quality child care affordable and accessible for all” during a July speech at the Republican National Convention. During her address, Trump further boasted that her CEO father has built a workplace founded on gender equality, where women “are paid equally for the work that we do.”
“When a woman becomes a mother she is supported, not shut out,” she said.
Cosmo’s Prachi Gupta, though, questioned her father’s corporate policies. During a 2004 interview with NBC, the elder Trump referred to pregnant women as “inconvenient” in the workplace. Gupta called his maternity leave plan “surprising.”
Trump bristled at the characterization, saying she didn’t “know that he said those comments.”
Things got more awkward when the two discussed how the maternity leave plan would affect gay dads, who aren’t overtly covered by the policy. If two men had a child, would one of them be allowed to take time off?
Trump avoided answering.
"This is a giant leap from where we are today, which is sadly, nothing,” she said. “Both sides of the aisle have been unable to agree on this issue, so I think this takes huge advancement and obviously, for same-sex couples as well, there's tremendous benefit here to enabling the mother to recover after childbirth. It's critical for the health of the mother. It's critical for bonding with the child, and that was a top focus of this plan.”
Gupta pressed further. “So I just want to be clear that, for same-sex adoption, where the two parents are both men, they would not be receiving special leave for that because they don't need to recover or anything?” the interviewer asked.
"Well, those are your words, not mine,” Trump responded. “Those are your words. The plan, right now, is focusing on mothers, whether they be in same-sex marriages or not.”
In a separate interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Trump further attempted to talk up her father’s maternity leave plan by contrasting his position with that of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent. Trump claimed that the former secretary of State has no agenda in place for mothers in the workplace.
“There’s no policy on Hillary Clinton’s website pertaining to any of these issues, child care, elder care, or maternity leave or paternity leave, for that matter,” she said.
That’s untrue. On Clinton’s campaign website, the presidential nominee spells out her own maternity and medical leave policies in a three-page document. Her plan promises up to 12 weeks of paid time off, twice what the Trump plan offers.
As Clinton argued during a May speech, she believes it’s important that all types of parents be protected under paid leave laws.
“Too many moms have to go back to work just days after their babies are born,” Clinton said. “And too many dads and parents of adopted children don’t get any paid leave at all. Neither do sons and daughters struggling to take care of their aging parents. None of this is fair to families.”