When Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner entered the Renaissance Washington Hotel on Saturday, amid the flashing cameras and members of the media covering the Gridiron Club dinner, they evidenced little sign that their world had been nuked in the preceding week. Ivanka, the First Daughter and senior adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, swept the floor with her Carolina Herrera ball gown—black and strapless at the top, flowing with black and white tulle at her waist. Her cherry-red lips parted into smile after smile in front of the cameras, despite the fact that she had recently come under fire for an interview in which she said it was inappropriate to ask her about the women who accused her father of sexual assault because, well, she is his daughter. Kushner, in a traditional white bow tie, flashed his teeth, too, despite the fact that Chief of Staff John Kelly had just stripped him of his clearance; a Washington Post report suggested he had been targeted as a stooge by no less than four foreign powers; and investigators were looking at his business ties and whether they influenced his actions during the transition and while serving in the White House.
The couple’s ability to appear impervious to their mounting troubles did not surprise those who know them intimately. As one person close to the couple told me over the weekend, “Jared knows the world doesn’t end very often.” Ivanka, another person added, keeps blinders on and only focuses on what she wants to focus on. (What did raise some eyebrows in the Jewish community, however, was the fact that cameras caught them entering the hotel on Saturday evening before the sun set. The couple, who says they’re observant Modern Orthodox Jews, would traditionally not be able to work or travel by car after sunset on Shabbat.)