Politics are ingrained in daily life now more than ever, and fashion week is no exception.
One of the front-row guests at Tuesday’s Chiara Boni La Petite Robe runway show served up an insider’s view of the White House’s inner workings. Easily six-feet tall in Christian Louboutin heels and a one-shoulder jumpsuit, Lara Trump is accustomed to working a crowd. Married to President Trump’s son Eric, she still calls New York City home. With just a few minutes to spare, Lara was off and running, racing through issues like a true politician.
After five years of working as a booker and then an associate producer at “Inside Edition,” she exited the media world. “When my father-in-law ran for president, I actually left there and started working on his campaign, and I am at the campaign now,” Lara Trump said.
As for how she deals with all the vitriol, emotion and contrasting opinions, Trump said, “What I will say is I know the man that is my father-in-law. I know that he’s doing this for the right reason. His heart is in the right place. If you look at where the country has come since he took office — just sheer numbers — there is no metric that is worse because he is president. In fact, everything is better since he took office.”
To that end, she cited 4 million jobs created, manufacturing coming back to the U.S., “making sure that we’re not getting ripped off, as he often says with trade. He wants free, fair and reciprocal trade. Unemployment, in many cases, is at the lowest point it has ever been in the history of this country. Tax cuts that are giving people the opportunity to do great things for their families that they probably couldn’t have before,” she said.
“The number of people who come up to me as small business owners and tell me, ‘We were able to hire more people. We’re going to be able to give bonuses this year’,” Lara Trump said. “Really across the board from an economic standpoint, things are looking so much brighter in this country. I am incredibly proud that my father-in-law has only been in office for a year and a half and yet we see these really important changes. You look at the world stage, the way our country is viewed. Out military is being built up again. We could possibly see denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. These are really important things that are going to affect people all around the world. People can say what they want about him, but it’s thanks to Donald Trump that we’re seeing these things happen.”
Her parents own a car wash in southeastern North Carolina — “unfortunately, right where the hurricane is headed. So I don’t think anyone will be washing cars, coming up,” she said. “They’ve been small business owners my whole life. My dad had a boat building company when I was growing up. My parents have owned the car wash for about 20 years now. It hits very close to home the things that I hear from people. I fully understand and can appreciate the impact that it can have on a business.”
Being a Trump family member, the New Yorker faces her share of criticism. “I think the saddest things I’ve seen is people attacking my son, who is turning a year old Wednesday…people saying really nasty things about him [as an infant] and while I was pregnant with him, it’s just a shame that anybody would stoop to that level. But, honestly, nothing surprises us anymore, sadly in a way. But again, we all understand that it’s so much bigger than all of us. We’re willing to take the slings and arrows, if it means that the world is really a better place, and the country is headed in a better direction.”
As for whether anyone ever advises the president to tone things down or to be more thoughtful about tweeting, Lara Trump said, “We all give him our opinions on a plethora of things. He makes his own decisions, he always has. He’s a very strong-willed man. I think that’s why he’s been so successful his whole life. But he does really what he feels is the right thing ultimately. He does like to hear opinions from everybody. He asks our opinions of things all the time.
“I understand that not everyone will agree with you when you get into politics. That’s the nature of the beast. He understands that. We all do, but I think we all know that we’re doing things for the right reason. He wants the country to be better for everyone. We keep that in mind a lot. It’s never easy seeing people you care about attacked, or on a daily basis having everything thrown their way. But overall as a family, we understand there’s a bigger purpose, and a bigger end game for all this,” she said.
“Really a normal family,” the extended Trump clan likes to spend time together, having dinners and catching up. “It used to be so easy. We used to all be in New York. Now everybody is more spread out between Washington, D.C., and New York. Getting the kids and the cousins together is fun. My son loves seeing his grandfather, when we visit him and Melania and Barron. We’re like any other family. We just want to catch up and enjoy.”
Lara Trump wasn’t about to offer a best guess about which anonymous senior official penned last week’s op-ed in The New York Times. “It’s an unfortunate thing. I think it’s really a sad thing that somebody would do that. I have no idea — just like everybody else.”