First daughter Ivanka Trump Monday said her father, President Donald Trump, felt “very vindicated” following fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, but the headlines overshadowed his focus on “infrastructure week” and the impact the push for reform will have on most Americans.
“At the White House and throughout the administration, we were incredibly focused on the reason we went to Washington,” said Trump, a special adviser to the president, in a Fox News’ “Fox Friends” interview.
Instead, she said, last week was “infrastructure week,” which didn’t get the level of headlines the Comey testimony did, but will have much more impact.
“We are focusing on rebuilding this country,” said Trump. “Rebuilding rural locations which have fallen into great disrepair. Repair our waterways, air traffic control.”
There was a “series of very important and big and far-reaching initiatives on infrastructure,” she continued.
“This coming week is about workforce development. So with all the noise, with all the intensity of the media coverage and obviously, what makes headlines ultimately, we are really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president.”
Trump will travel to Wisconsin on Tuesday with her father and Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta to visit “one of the great examples of skills-based learning and skills-based education technical schools,” where they will speak about the nation’s skills gap.
“[We will] highlight the fact that there is a viable path other than a four-year college experience,” said Trump. “[We are] really investing in vocal education, skill-based training. There are 6 million available American jobs.
“We’re constantly hearing from CEOs that they have job openings but they don’t have workers with the skill set they need to fill those jobs [and] really bridging that gap and bringing experienced based education to the forefront. So apprenticeship, actually. That’s the model.
“Skills-based education has been deemphasized in favor of traditional four-year colleges, but “they don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” said Trump.
The lack doesn’t only affect women and minorities, but it does affect them “disproportionately,” she continued.
“When you think out into the future where the available jobs today and the future jobs are coming from, a lot of them are in STEM related fields, science, engineering, computer science,” Trump said.
Women represent 47 percent of the total workforce, but make up only 23 percent of STEM-related occupations, she noted.
“We’re moving in the wrong direction in terms of our participation, and that’s something ultimately we need to change,” she commented.
“Encourage K-12, but also retraining for workers whose jobs have been displaced. We have a huge emphasis on it this week. It’s critically important. I think we can make a very big impact.”
It is also an “enormous problem” that many Americans are only working part-time jobs, and even though they may hold two or three jobs, collectively, they are making less than when they worked one job that has been replaced, said Trump.
“They don’t have access to leave for vacation, to holidays, to traditional benefits,” Trump said. “That’s another problem we are going to address.”
Congress will next week discuss the Perkins Act, which addressed skill-based education, and Trump said the legislation will make sure people have the technical skills to succeed in the modern economy.
Also on Monday, Trump said that she never expected the “level of viciousness” that her father’s presidency has experienced.
“This isn’t supposed to be easy,” she said. “My father’s administration intends to be transformative, and we want to do big, bold things.”
She also downplayed news reports about her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, clashing with other West Wing staffers.
“There is a 24-hour news cycle that gets fed by, and is encouraged by lots of salacious details,” said Trump.
“At the end of the day, we are all focused on the work, and that’s very true for Jared. You know, he is somebody who just likes to get things done. So he doesn’t get involved in sort of all of that.”