The Atlantic on Monday published a lengthy account of the Trump family’s rise, political aspirations and, allegedly, the infighting between Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. including suspicions of planted stories about the other.
That reporting has been enthusiastically denied by the White House, where Ivanka works as a senior aide to her dad, President Donald Trump.
Discussing the story on Tuesday’s episode of The View, however, co-host Meghan McCain said she trusted what it showed, calling it “illuminating.” But she said she wasn’t as moved to empathy about the family as co-host Abby Huntsman.
“I found myself feeling sorry for the kids at different moments,” Huntsman said of Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, who were partially raised in a tabloid swirl of their father’s own making.
President Trump was excluded from the funeral after a long history of denigrating Sen. McCain, which continued after he died.
“They’re not good people,” Meghan said on The View.
IVANKA & TRUMP JR’S “COLD WAR”? A report says Pres. Trump’s daughter and son are reportedly locked in a sibling rivalry to get their father’s approval – the co-hosts weigh in on the alleged family feud. https://t.co/1091s9Fn2d pic.twitter.com/g1fCRzV7SQ
— The View (@TheView) September 10, 2019
Contrary to how she described it, though, Ivanka and Kushner were reportedly invited by Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Sen. McCain’s closest friends, with widow Cindy McCain‘s permission.
A McCain family friend previously told PEOPLE, “There were a lot of people involved in the planning of the funeral, and she does not know whose list they were on.”
“I didn’t know they were coming,” Meghan told Porter magazine earlier this year. “I didn’t know until I saw them there.”
She said: “I looked over and saw them and well… they got to listen to what I had to say.”
What she had to say indeed: Though Meghan never mentioned the president’s name, she repeatedly invoked the example of her father against “the opportunistic appropriation of those that live lives of comfort and privilege.”
She also took aim at Trump’s signature vow to “make America great again.”
“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She is resourceful, confident, and secure. … The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” Meghan said then.
On The View on Tuesday, she had more cutting words for Ivanka, who has become the face of the Trump administration’s workforce and women’s policies. Meghan has criticized Ivanka and Kushner before, joining others who say the couple is unqualified for such high-profile political positions.
“I still don’t know what she does all day. … I know she does women’s initiatives but that’s all very nebulous,” Meghan said.
The White House quickly pushed back.
“The idea that the hosts of The View or a reporter at The Atlantic have any factual reads on what goes on within the Trump family is completely asinine,” spokeswoman Jessica Ditto tells PEOPLE.
“Ivanka is proud of this administration and the work that they have done over the last two and a half years,” she continued. “Pledges for the creation of millions of training opportunities for American workers and over a billion dollars in funding towards women’s economic empowerment in Latin America are anything but nebulous.”
Ditto also contends The Atlantic article was more smoke than fire: “All of this is false and a flimsy single anonymous source will not succeed at creating a rift in the family.”
Ivanka recently returned to the U.S. after a South American trip to promote entrepreneurship and gender parity and America’s support of Venezuela Juan Guaidó in replacing the president there, among other issues.
She has previously faced scrutiny over her security clearance, her effectiveness and her motives as the daughter of the president now working in a government job.