Ivanka Trump, right, listens as her father Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a policy speech on child care, Sept. 13, 2016, in Aston, Pa. 
Photo by Evan Vucci/AP

Trump’s daughter helped sway the president to launch Syria strike

Updated
It’s not exactly a secret the Pentagon encouraged Donald Trump to launch last week’s attack in Syria, but according to one of the president’s adult sons, Ivanka Trump played a key role, too.
Donald Trump’s decision to bomb Syria was influenced by his daughter, Ivanka, being “heartbroken and outraged” at the country’s alleged chemical weapons attack, one of the president’s sons told a British newspaper. […]

Trump’s 33-year-old son, Eric, told The Daily Telegraph on Monday that the strike was influenced in part by Ivanka, who he said she was “heartbroken and outraged” by the chemical attack.
The Rachel Maddow Show, 4/7/17, 9:00 PM ET

Absent policy, Trump follows other motivations to military force

Rachel Maddow reports on Donald Trump’s confused policy toward Syria and concerns about what could motivate Trump to further actions given his lack of principled mooring.
Eric Trump, speaking to the British newspaper while visiting a Trump-branded golf course in Scotland, explained the behind-the-scenes situation at the White House. “Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence,” he explained. “I’m sure she said, ‘Listen, this is horrible stuff.’ My father will act in times like that.”

He will? Really?

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this is the fact that Eric Trump was willing to say this out loud and on the record. Had one of the president’s critics levied this as an accusation – Trump launched missiles in part because one of his inexperienced kids influenced his thinking on matters of national security – it might have seemed a little excessive.

And yet, Eric Trump was comfortable describing the family dynamic this way, as if it weren’t embarrassing at all.

Remember, Ivanka Trump has no background in international affairs or security matters. The fact that she has a job and an office in the West Wing, after saying she wouldn’t join the White House staff, is itself curious, and that was before her brother suggested she’s advising the president on U.S. policy in Syria.

To appreciate the significance of this, imagine if Jill Stein’s voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin had backed the Democratic ticket, and Hillary Clinton were president right now. Then imagine the Democratic president had just launched a provocative military strike in the Middle East, despite campaign rhetoric to the contrary, because Chelsea Clinton – who had just been given a West Wing job for reasons no one can explain – made an emotional appeal to her mother.

Do you suppose that might generate some political controversy?

Postscript: In the same interview, Eric Trump added, “If there was anything that [the strike on] Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie.” That may be another quote he’ll end up wishing he didn’t say.

Donald Trump and Syria

Trump's daughter helped sway the president to launch Syria strike

Updated