Ivanka Trump isn’t greening her dad, she’s greenwashing him

Memo to media: Talk is cheap. Focus on what the president is doing.

Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka after touring the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in DC last month. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Pool via CNP /MediaPunch/IPX
Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka after touring the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in DC last month. Credit: Kevin Dietsch / Pool via CNP /MediaPunch/IPX

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump began the process of gutting EPA clean water rules. That evening, he gave a speech to Congress in which he claimed he would work with members of both parties “to promote clean air and clear water.”

In fact, the president has been busy keeping his campaign pledge to kill environmental protections, and he will reportedly propose a budget with crippling cuts to the EPA. In Tuesday’s speech, he bragged about his efforts to push more coal and oil into the market, which will make the air and water dirtier, while destroying a livable climate.

But The Hill framed the story with this absurd headline: “Ivanka Trump pushed for family leave, environment in Trump speech: report.”

The report, from Axios, was based on an email from Team Trump saying that while the speech was “all” Stephen Miller (a Trump senior adviser), “Ivanka worked hard on it with him on many of the parts… including the paragraph on ‘paid family leave… women’s health… clean air and clean water.’”

This is not the first time the media has inflated Ivanka’s policymaking role based on anonymous sources. Last week, E&E News ran a story titled, “Ivanka and Jared saved the Paris Agreement — for now,” in which we learned Ivanka and her husband “worked to remove references to the global climate deal from a new executive order, according to a source.” The draft order described would still reverse several Obama administration climate policies, however.

As for the first daughter’s role in Tuesday’s joint address to Congress, if Ivanka advocated for the environment to be featured in Trump’s speech, then she failed miserably.

Again, Trump didn’t actually include anything new on the environment in the speech — he just repeated his long-standing lie that he will “protect clean air and clean water.” In fact, that very same meaningless greenwashing pledge (“protecting clean air and clean water”) was in the “America First Energy Plan” that called for rolling back clean air and clean water rules, which team Trump put on the White House website his very first day in office to replace all the climate change pages they deleted.

To quote GOP Mayor Michael Bloomberg from the Democratic convention, “I know a con when I see one.” The media, however, doesn’t.

But as long as he has a friendly tone and says a few meaningless words, the president can apparently continue “his unmitigated assault on the nation’s environment and public health,” as Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, wrote Wednesday.