Donald Trump coronavirus row: How Ivanka was 'vehemently against' father's border measures

The US President, who has slashed public health funding, could be in trouble if the markets continue to plummet, given that a major campaign argument for him is about growing the economy. With the presidential election coming up this year, Mr Trump is hoping not to be damaged in the same way that previous presidents have been by crises – President George W Bush with Hurricane Katrina and President Barack Obama with the financial crisis. With just 500 people having been tested for COVID-19, it is currently unclear how widespread the virus may be in the US.

Scottie Nell Hughes, a broadcaster and political commentator who supports the US President, has claimed that coronavirus would not be an issue in the US, were they implementing Mr Trump’s hardline immigration policies.

She told the BBC’s Emily Maitlis on Newsnight last night that increasing border security would have prevented the virus entering the US.

Responding to a point about Mr Trump slashing £25million from public health, she said: “And what would that have done to prevent this from coming into our borders?

“You know what would have prevented this coming into our borders?

READ MORE: Ivanka Trump: Why First Daughter was ‘frustrated’ by Trump campaign

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Ivanka Trump said she was vehemently against US-Mexico border family separation (Image: GETTY)

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Scottie Nell Hughes speaks to Emily Maitlis (Image: BBC)

“Actually putting America first when it came to border security; knowing who was coming in, actually putting more security at our national entrance points.”

Ms Maitlis asked: “What, stopping Mexican immigrants would have stopped this coming in from Iran or coming in from China?”

Ms Hughes replied: “We're also talking about shipping ports, we’re talking about what’s coming in, obviously, on the west coast where they are seeing the biggest infestation.”

It is understood that Ms Hughes was referring to stopping illegal immigration into the US, but of course US citizens could be carrying the coronavirus they caught overseas.

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Families on the US-Mexico border (Image: GETTY)

Mr Trump’s daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump, has always stood by her father on almost every policy, as well his divisive rhetoric.

However, she did surprise people when she spoke out about the treatment of people at the US-Mexico border.

It is this border that Mr Trump has focused on in terms of illegal immigration, insisting that he will build a wall to keep people out – and that the Mexican government will pay for it.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Axios website in Washington DC in 2018, Ms Trump said she was “vehemently against” the separation of parents and children at the border.

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Ivanka Trump at the Axios event (Image: GETTY)

When interviewer Mike Allen put to her that the family separations were a low point for many staff during the first 18 months of the Trump administration, the First Daughter said: “That was a low point for me as well.

“I feel very strongly about that, I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children.”

In November 2019, it was reported that the Trump administration has separated more than 4,200 immigrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

The number was provided by the American Civil Liberties Union, which added the majority of the children are aged 12 and under, including more than 200 under five.

Shocking images of children in cages rocked the world when they came out nearly two years ago.

Ms Trump added: “I think immigration is incredibly complex as a topic, illegal immigration is incredibly complicated.

“I am the daughter of an immigrant, my mother grew up in Communist Czech Republic, but we are a country of laws.

“We have to be very careful about incentivising behaviour that puts children at risk of being trafficked, a risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone.”

She added that she does not agree with her father that the media is the “enemy of the people”.

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Ivanka Trump rarely criticises her father's policy or rhetoric (Image: GETTY)

Ms Trump who has previously supported Democrat and Republican candidates, yesterday confirmed that she is “a proud Trump Republican”.

She said on Monday that she has officially changed her voter registration from Democrat to Republican in order to vote for her father in the New York primary, something she did not do in 2016 because she missed the cut-off date.

According to the New York City Board of Elections, she made the change on October 22, 2018, just ahead of the midterm elections.

In recent months, she had told Fox News host Sean Hannity that refusing to celebrate President Trump’s America is “unforgivable” and tweeted about the “ill-conceived” Senate impeachment trial.

She appears to have come on quite a journey from a New York socialite who donated large sums to Democrat campaigns to an advocate for her father’s “Make America Great Again” rhetoric.

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