Chrissy Teigen says Ivanka Trump exhibits a "complete lack of empathy" on the matter of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" family separation policy.
"It's a painful thing to see that and it's a painful thing to see such a complete lack of empathy," Teigen said at the House Democrats' annual retreat when asked by former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry about how images of children separated from their parents have affected her.
"When it comes from people, like Ivanka, I will say, that can post all day pictures of her children that are just in her home and 'oh my daughter is having trouble in her crib' or 'my daughter is doing this' and 'my daughter is doing this,' there are children out there that don't have that opportunity," she said.
Many concurred with Teigen's remarks.
Teigen, whom President Donald Trump has actually blocked on Twitter, also discussed how the Trump administration has impacted her mental health. She said she needed to take a step back from weighing in on political issues because of attacks on social media.
"I couldn't read the messages that I was being sent because, of course, Donald more than anything he says and does, he opened a world, opened up a window to all these people that felt like it became OK to be just as nasty as him, and it made it acceptable and I didn't want to be a part of that anymore," she said.
Last year, Ivanka Trump appeared to distance herself from her father when she declared herself "vehemently against" family separation.
Months later, she said her job as a member of the Trump administration "is not to share my viewpoint when they diverge" in response to a question about how she can "reconcile" support for women's initiatives with the administration's policies, including family separation.
In February, the House Oversight Committee voted to issue subpoenas to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services in a move to hold the Trump administration accountable for the human suffering caused by its “zero tolerance” family separations policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The committee is demanding information related to “the children separated, location and facilities where they were held, details on their parents, information on efforts to restore children to their parents and whether parents were deported,” according to a report from NBC News.
President Donald Trump had previously admitted that his administration’s policy of separating families was a negotiating tool to get Democrats to cave to his demands (which include tougher border security as well as a wall erected along the nation’s southern border).
The tipping point for the end of the short-lived family separations policy appeared to be an Associated Press report confirming that the Trump administration will be operating at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas for migrant babies and toddlers.
The report details government plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, a move which earned harsh rebukes from city leaders. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited these shelters described scenes of migrant children in crisis, many of them crying out for their families.
Medical professionals have also spoken out about the “irreparable harm” to separated migrant children, warning of the effects “toxic stress” can have on a child’s brain development and long-term health.