Could Jared and Ivanka Return to the Trump Campaign Fold?

The couple has publicly steered clear of politics, but some recent sightings have Trumpworld buzzing. “If he’s president again,” says a former administration official, “Jared needs to protect his turf.”
Donald Trump with his daughter Ivanka Trump and his soninlaw Jared Kushner at the White House March 17 2017.
Donald Trump with his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House March 17, 2017.By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

On the evening of July 19, Donald Trump hosted a private screening of the child-trafficking movie Sound of Freedom at his Bedminister golf club. The guest list included the film’s QAnon-promoting star, Jim Caviezel, and other MAGA elites, such as former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and newscaster turned election denier Kari Lake. Trump, standing in a blue suit and red tie, called Caviezel a “great star” and lauded the movie’s $100 million-plus box office haul as “really something.” But the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner is what has gotten Trumpworld buzzing.

According to Trump advisers, Ivanka and Kushner have been more visible lately, stoking speculation that the pair could take an active role in Trump’s 2024 campaign. They have been living at their cottage on the grounds of Bedminster, sources said. And last month Ivanka attended her father’s birthday dinner, a source added. “They’ve been spotted more frequently this summer,” a top campaign strategist told me. “They’ve made it clear they’re supportive. They pop into meetings to say hi.” Trump advisers cautioned that, at least for now, Kushner and Ivanka are only engaging as members of the Trump family and are not participating in an official advisory capacity.

But with Trump dominating the 2024 Republican primary, some sources suggested Kushner and Ivanka might hop on the Trump train. “Now that the president is 40 points ahead, of course Jared is pretending he’s involved. If he’s president again, Jared needs to protect his turf, especially in the Middle East,” a former Trump administration official said.

Kusher declined to comment. A source familiar with his thinking said: “Jared thinks the team running the campaign is doing a terrific job and has zero intention to get involved. He is laser-focused on his family and on growing his business.”

Last fall, the couple made it clear they were done with politics. “I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” Ivanka said in a statement released on November 15, the day Trump launched his presidential campaign at Mar-a-Lago. Kushner, meanwhile, was focused on his private-equity firm. Months after leaving the White House, Kushner received a controversial $2 billion investment from the fund led by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Kushner and Ivanka’s decision to back away from Trump seemed like a smart career move at the time. Trump’s political fortunes were dwindling. Many of the midterm candidates he endorsed––such as Lake, Doug Mastriano, and Herschel Walker–– lost winnable races. A Politico–Morning Consult poll found that 65% of voters said Trump should “probably or definitely not run again.” Florida governor Ron DeSantis looked formidable after his crushing 19-point reelection victory. A poll commissioned by the Texas Republican Party found that Texas Republicans preferred DeSantis over Trump by more than 10 points. Rupert Murdoch’s media empire was all in on DeSantis, famously running a New York Post cover with the headline “DeFUTURE.”

As Trump slumped, Kushner and Ivanka spent little time at Mar-a-Lago, a source said. That echoed their White House habit of disappearing during scandals but claiming credit for victories. But they’ve been closer to Trump this summer, with the ex-president having reasserted his grip on the Republican electorate. DeSantis, Trump’s closest rival, trails by double digits. Former vice president Mike Pence is scrambling to even qualify for the first GOP debate on Fox News.

One red flag for Kushner and Ivanka surely is the onslaught of legal threats facing Trump, who has already been criminally indicted twice this year, in connection to the hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels and his alleged mishandling of classified materials. (Trump has pleaded not guilty in both cases.) And the former president could be indicted imminently in both federal and Georgia cases related to his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Kushner and Ivanka are highly protective of their brands and likely would not want to be publicly associated with Trump if he were to be convicted on federal or state charges.

But if Trump returns to the White House, Kushner and Ivanka’s calculus might change. “Everyone loves a winner!” a former Trump 2020 campaign adviser said.