Maria Shriver's Feelings About The Trump Family Are Crystal Clear

Being on opposite ends of the political spectrum doesn't necessarily make people enemies. Despite a 10-year period of estrangement, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were dear friends as well as Founding Fathers. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush got along famously after their terms in office.  President Biden was so close to the late Senator John McCain that he was asked to deliver a eulogy at his 2018 funeral (via NPR). On the other hand, sometimes families' values are so far apart that finding common ground is impossible. So it is with the Kennedys and Trumps. With the exception of Robert Kennedy Jr. — whose views are often opposed by his siblings and his wife, Cheryl Hines — the staunchly Democratic liberal Kennedy clan has no love for former President Donald Trump or his policies. 

Among the more vocal anti-Trump voices is that of Maria Shriver, daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and niece of former President John F. Kennedy. She was no fan of the 45th president's policies while he was in office, and she makes no secret of her opposition to Trump's running for re-election. As she once tweeted in June 2022, "We must be clear about never, ever allowing Donald Trump near political office ever again. He needs to be held accountable for all that he has done to our beloved country. We must also be vigilant about others who will do the same. We must demand better." Shriver's criticism doesn't stop with the senior Trump, however; she has pointed fingers at his adult children as well.

Maria Shriver criticized Ivanka for her silence on migrant family separation

As president, Donald Trump transformed his daughter Ivanka Trump from a businesswoman and occasional "Apprentice" judge to one of his top advisors. She focused her efforts on improving life for working women through proposals for broader paid family leave, child care funding, equal pay, and other quality-of-life issues.

Then in 2018, then-President Trump made good on his plans to address the migration crisis by separating undocumented children from their parents at the Texas border with no tracking system to enable reunions. Footage of shrieking babies and weeping mothers tugged at heartstrings worldwide. Yet the first daughter remained silent on the issue, and Maria Shriver called her on it on Twitter. "Now would be a good time for Ivanka Trump to show what it means to be an advisor on women's issues, a proponent of female empowerment," she wrote. "You can't be an advocate for women, mothers and not speak up about what is happening to women and children at this moment." The following day, Shriver noted Ivanka had yet to respond. "Step up or step down," she tweeted bluntly.

Shriver was no fonder of first son Donald Trump Jr., particularly his attempts to discredit the liberal media. Just months after her messages to Ivanka, the former first niece reposted a clip of Anderson Cooper debunking Don Jr.'s claims he had faked footage of a scene of hurricane damage. "Let's all stop calling the news what it is not," Shriver demanded.

Maria Shriver blamed all the Trumps for January 6

Any respect Maria Shriver may have had for the Trump family disappeared after the infamous insurrection on the Capitol. As protesters invaded the building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election results, Donald Trump refused to say the election was over or that he had lost fairly. He was widely criticized even by fellow Republicans and news media for not telling the protesters to leave immediately, but simply to avoid violence. Ivanka Trump echoed her father, tweeting at the "American Patriots" to be peaceful. (She later clarified that it was the protest that was patriotic, not the rioters.) Trump's oldest son, Donald Jr., texted then-chief of staff Mark Meadows to say his father needed to make a tougher statement. Unimpressed by the younger Trumps' responses, Shriver fired off a tweet of her own. "The Trump family is complicit," she said. "They are in over their heads. Always have been. They are complicit. No excuse. They own this too. They are not kids. May they know this is their legacy."

However, Shriver did once admit the former president did do something for her that she hadn't been able to accomplish herself. In a 2016 essay on her website following Trump's inauguration, she said, "He got everyone [in my home] interested in civics, the government, and, yes, the press. ... My kids and their friends are engaged in our democracy in a way that I have never seen."