President Trump had some help from three influential women in the White House sphere writing the address he delivered to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, his daughter Ivanka Trump had a hand in crafting the speech, according to a report by Axios, which cited a senior administration official. Ivanka was instrumental in convincing Trump aide Stephen Miller, who oversaw writing of the address, to foster a more hopeful tone than Trump has struck in previous speeches.
Trump’s former campaign communications director Hope Hicks, who now works as a White House communications strategist, is credited with the decision to denounce bigotry at the outset of the speech. “It was Hope [Hicks]’s idea to add the upfront line about how ‘we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms,” the official told Axios. Trump had been criticized for not speaking out himself to denounce the wave of anti-Semitic incidents being reported around the nation in recent weeks.
“My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave … to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clean water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure,” Trump said during the speech. Those lines were attributed to Ivanka Trump. Dina Powell, the former Goldman Sachs executive Trump brought on before his inauguration as a senior counselor for economic initiatives, was also influential in shaping how those ideas were presented.
Later in the speech, Trump said, “With the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have formed a council with our neighbors in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams.”
While some early polls of showed Trump’s speech was received positively by many, women’s advocates are still skeptical about what a Trump presidency will mean for the country and women’s rights, specifically.
Kaylie Hanson Long, the NARAL Pro-Choice America National Communications Director, issued a statement on Tuesday night saying Trump “is no friend to women and families. It’s only been a month, and his anti-woman, anti-equality agenda has already earned the status as an historically unpopular president.
Long added, “That’s why Americans are taking to the streets, showing up to town halls, and calling on their representatives to oppose his dangerously out-of-touch agenda. We deserve better than a president who’s made it his mission to roll back our reproductive freedom and obstruct the progress we’ve made for equality and basic freedoms in this country.”
Planned Parenthood took to Twitter shortly after the speech to point out a glaring issue with one of the lines Trump delivered about “women’s health” and noted that one of his core campaign promises, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, would jeopardize women’s health.
A group of congresswomen who attended the speech wearing all white outfits — as a tribute to women’s suffrage and in support of women’s rights — also took issue with Trump several times during his speech and booed him at one point.
Read the full story at Axios.