Ivanka Trump posted a photo of her children and her husband, Jared Kushner celebrating his 40th birthday on Sunday morning, and commenters were floored. The seemingly mundane post came just days after President Donald Trump's supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol building at his urging, leaving four protesters and one police officer dead. Many thought that it was insensitive of Trump to post about Kushner's birthday at such a time.
"Happy 40th Birthday my love!" Trump wrote with a heart emoticon. The picture showed Jared smiling at their kitchen table, with their three children arrayed in front of him smiling as well. Streamers hung from the ceiling and a messy cake was on the table, complete with candles, despite the early hour. This was Trump's first Instagram post since the attack on the Capitol building, though she has made tweets addressing the situation. Still, many fans argued that this post was out of line.
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"Read the room!!! Our nation was attacked because of what your family inspired!" one person wrote. Another commented: "An insurrection and a birthday all in one week! Busy busy," while a third added simply: "You're fired."
Trump has been more direct over on Twitter, though she has had at least one false start. On Wednesday during the attack, she tweeted: "American Patriots ― any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable." However, when critics pointed out that she was effectively calling insurrectionists "patriots," she corrected herself.
"No. Peaceful protest is patriotic. Violence is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms," she wrote. Still, in the days that followed, Trump continued to support her father in spite of his hand in starting the attack.
No. Peaceful protest is patriotic. Violence is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms. https://t.co/GwngZTqzTH— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 6, 2021
"We're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them," the president said at his rally immediately before the attack. "You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong."
It's not hard to imagine how many of Trump's followers took these as direct instructions — particularly after years of QAnon conspiracy theories that the president has refused to correct. In the violence that followed, one Capitol police officer was killed, along with four protesters. Many commenters thought that Trump dishonored all five of them with her casual post on Sunday morning.