There were no softball questions for Ivanka Trump.
The founder of her namesake retail and lifestyle site and executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization took questions during a brief session on stage at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit that centered mostly around her father, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“I think my remarks were clear on this one,” Trump said in response to comments made by her father in “Access Hollywood” footage, recorded in 2005. “I did find it to be offensive. He acknowledged it as well. I appreciate that he did that.”
She called out her displeasure of the characterization that she is a surrogate to her father, pointing out news outlets who at one time wrote she was a candidate for vice president and orchestrating his campaign.
“I do dismiss this idea of a surrogate because I don’t think it appreciates the role that I’m playing as my father’s daughter,” Trump said. “I’m not the campaign mastermind as people love to portray and speculate.”
Trump, who will be in Nevada later today for this evening’s final presidential debate, has said publicly she is an independent and has avoided discussing most policy issues — her exception being child care — saying she’s not afraid to share her opinions but does so in private.
As for her brand and business — she said is doing “hundreds of millions of dollars in retail sales” — it’s been largely overshadowed by the circus surrounding the upcoming presidential election. That intense media spotlight hasn’t been easy, she said.
“I’ve always tried to maintain complete separation with that [business] and the campaign,” she said. “With that said, one of the challenging things is just operating, living one’s life with the intensity and the scrutiny of this process is a very hard thing to do.”
When asked if she shared her father’s more recent views the elections are rigged, Trump reiterated the intense media focus and what she said have been largely mischaracterizations of her family.
“I will tell you that the media has been vicious,” she said. “This has been on a different level. Look, we take it personally obviously. There are some things said that are deeply personal.”
Trump also refused to address whether she thought it important for her father to concede should he lose the election.
“My father is in this to win and I’m not interested in talking about alternative outcomes and, of course, I think my father will always do the right thing,” she said. “That’s the person he is. I think from a media perspective, it’s very hard to get an accurate portrayal of who he is as a person. It’s borderline impossible….I believe he’ll accept the outcome either way.”