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Melania and Ivanka Trump’s once-icy relationship thawing before US election

Melania [second left] and Ivanka [far right] after the funeral of Ivana Trump, socialite and Trump's first wife, in New York City, in 2022.

Melania [second left] and Ivanka [far right] after the funeral of Ivana Trump, socialite and Trump's first wife, in New York City, in 2022. Photo: AAP

Donald Trump’s two most important family members, Melania and daughter Ivanka, were conspicuously absent throughout his five-week criminal hush money trial in New York.

Melania remained isolated in Trump Tower with their son Barron, while eldest daughter from his first wife Ivana had made it clear she had distanced herself from Team Trump to raise a family.

After Trump was found guilty of 34 felony counts in the Manhattan Criminal Court over falsifying documents to cover up a payment to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels, the family dynamic has shifted.

He has vowed to appeal against the matter, but it is unlikely to be resolved before the election in November, when he will seek to take back the White House from President Joe Biden.

Ivanka, who was reportedly in the Trump penthouse after he was convicted, took to Instagram with a subtle show of solidarity showing a photo of herself as a toddler.

“I love you dad.”

Melania remained silent, but reports are now circulating that the icy relationship that prevailed between her and her step-daughter during Trump’s term in office from 2016 to 2020, might be finally thawing.

According to a Page Six source, the case has brought the entire family closer than ever before.

“This includes a thaw in the sometimes chilly and tense relationship between Melania and Ivanka.”

“The entire family including all Trump’s children, and their [significant others, including Don Jr’s fiancee] Kimberly Guilfoyle are all circling the wagons.”

Both women were a no-show at Trump’s rambling post-verdict press conference.

Melania, Tiffany, Ivanka and Vanessa Trump look on as US President Barack Obama arrives for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on January 20, 2017. Photo: Getty

‘Strategic’

Lawyer and author Jill Filipovic says Melania and Ivanka are “staying in Trump’s good graces so that they might benefit if he rises again, while avoiding the current clown show”.

Described as “elegant and aspirational”, with significant lifestyle differences, she writes in an opinion piece for The Daily Beast both women “know the power of strategic silence”.

Melania prefers to stay out of the spotlight, raise her son, and float between New York and Trump’s resort and headquarters, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.

Ivanka, along with her husband Jared Kushner and several of Trump’s adult children, took on senior advisory roles in the White House during his term in office.

She even held the title of director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship (the position was abolished when Biden was elected).

The former model and businesswoman didn’t make her father’s 2022 campaign launch at the compound, issuing a statement afterwards saying “this time around, I am choosing to prioritise my children and the private life we are creating as a family”.

“I do not plan to be involved in politics.”

In recent months, as the polls show the race to the White House is a neck-and-neck affair, Ivanka has had a change in mood.

Media outlet Puck noted she’s “out of the spotlight but itching to return … quietly surveying allies about how, and when, she might help the Trump campaign – and possibly find herself back in the White House”.

Filipovic says ” … like [Trump], they are both keen readers of the public temperature; and they both also get away with a level of disloyalty that the Trump family patriarch permits from no one else”.

With Trump returning to what he does best – campaigning and talking up his White House return – within hours of joining TikTok over the weekend he had amassed three million followers.

He already has an active social media presence with more than 87 million followers on X and about seven million followers on his own platform, Truth Social, where he posts almost daily.

Ivanka, who shares three children, Arabella, Joseph and Theodore with Kushner and spends time on international family holidays walking the dog and surfing, is just around the corner in Palm Beach.

A Business Insider source reckons Ivanka “has definitely softened her hardline stance on avoiding politics in the future”, adding she’ll “likely be visible at the upcoming Republican convention when the family is trotted out in support of Donald Trump’s re-election campaign”.

Meanwhile, Melania was seen for the first time since Trump’s conviction leaving Trump Tower with a suited-up Barron and several pieces of Louis Vuitton designer luggage.

The New York Post reported the pair were heading towards New Jersey, where the family owns a “safe-haven estate at Bedminster”.

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