There was once a time when even if Trump was unable to succeed as a conscience-check on this White House, she wanted to seem like she was trying all the same. But as the events of recent weeks lay bare—her eagerness to participate in historic photo ops, her refusal to wade into things murkier—even that pretense has dissolved. “Maybe she’s coming more to grips with the fact that she’s tied forever to everything that happens in there, and it’s not even worth trying to distance herself from it all anymore,” posited a second former senior White House official, who also requested anonymity.
Multiple people close to Trump have told me that she speaks of her time in the White House as “sand in an hourglass,” a race to “make the most” of a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” before it slips away. (Indeed, she has a gorgeous hourglass in her White House office, perched near a window a few feet from her desk, to remind her of just that.) It may be difficult now, though, to grant Ivanka the benefit of the doubt, that when she speaks of making the most of her time, she means in service to the American people—and not simply herself.