Times Ivana Trump Defended Ex-Husband Donald From Political Backlash

It took less than a year for Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana Trump (née Zelníčková), to meet, get married, and have their first of three children: Donald Trump Jr., followed by Ivanka and Eric Trump. Over the next 15 years of their marriage, the Trumps enjoyed the perks of being a prominent power couple of the 1980s in New York City.

Donald and Ivana's marriage was tempestuous, with affair rumors often swirling around the elite duo. After Donald began seeing model Marla Maples, who would later become his second wife and mother of his fourth child, Tiffany Trump, he and Ivana officially divorced in 1992. His relationship with Ivana was understandably strained immediately following their breakup, but the two were able to cultivate a strong friendship in the following decades. 

Ivana Trump died in July 2022 after sustaining blunt impact injuries consistent with falling down the stairs, per CNBC. Officials deemed her death not suspicious. In the years leading up to her death, Ivana became a vocal supporter of her former husband, publicly defending him from political backlash.

Ivana Trump said her ex-husband was 'definitely not racist'

In an Oval Office meeting in January 2018, former President Donald Trump opined about the United States' immigration policies, questioning why the country should allow immigrants from Haiti and "s***hole countries in Africa," per AP News. Days later, his first wife, Ivana Trump, visited "Good Morning Britain" and defended her ex-husband's comments. 

"I don't think Donald's racist at all," Ivana replied when asked about her ex's inflammatory remarks on immigration. "Sometimes he says things which are silly, or he doesn't really mean them, or something like that. But he's definitely not racist, I'm sure of that."

 Ivana defended Donald further, saying the sitting president might have been confused due to the overwhelming nature of having a White House staff telling you what to and not to say. She expressed support for his tweets, which she said offered a more forthright glimpse into Donald's true feelings and opinions.

She doubled down on Donald Trump's immigration policies

Three years after defending Donald Trump's "s***hole countries" gaff, Ivana Trump was defending her ex-husband's divisive immigration policy yet again while being interviewed for the ITV show "Loose Women." Ivana praised her ex-husband for his contributions as president. The former model appeared to echo similar rhetoric to her ex, implying that many immigrants failed to assimilate to American culture and were criminally violent. 

"I am an immigrant, but they have to come to the country legally, they have to get a job, they have to pay taxes like the rest of Americans," Ivana said. "And they don't get a job and they steal and they rape the women. That's not our idea" (via Independent). 

Ivana Trump was born in Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia, in 1949. She later lived in Austria and Canada before meeting Donald that fateful night on the Upper East Side in 1977. Eleven years later, she received naturalized U.S. citizenship in 1988. Her immigrant background caused many to be outraged at her prejudices against non-U.S. citizens.

Ivana even defended Donald from her own words

Reporter Harry Hurt III published a harrowing account of an alleged attack between Donald and Ivana Trump in his 1993 book "Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump." The attack, pulled from a deposition from the Trumps' divorce case, claimed Donald was upset following a scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot. He directed his anger at Ivana, who had recommended Donald's plastic surgeon, allegedly ripping out clumps of her hair from her scalp before raping her (via the Daily Beast). 

Although Donald and his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, denied these allegations, the story picked up steam in 2015 as Donald vied for the Republican presidential nomination for the 2016 election. Cohen said that Ivana had meant "rape" in an emotional sense, further condemning the story. Ivana even defended her ex-husband from the very remarks she was said to have made. In a statement to CNN, Ivana said that the comments she made three decades ago were made during a contentious time in her and Donald's relationship.

"Donald and I are the best of friends together and have raised three children that we love and are very proud of," Ivana added. "I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.