Kim Kardashian rang in her 43rd birthday over the weekend at Funke restaurant in Beverly Hills—and the carousel of party pictures she posted to Instagram included some familiar faces: three of her sisters (Kourtney, who did not attend, was having complications associated with her pregnancy), fellow socialites like Hailey Bieber and Jesse Jo Stark, and longtime friends like Stephanie Shepherd and Tracy Romulus. But there was one face in the group that came as something of a surprise—that of the former first daughter Ivanka Trump. If you’re confused, so are her followers. “Kimberly….why is ivanka there????” reads one of the most-liked comments on the post.
Kardashian even shared a photo on her Instagram stories of her with Trump one-on-one, which 41-year-old Trump dutifully re-shared. “Loved celebrating you! HBD Kim,” she wrote.
In a way, it makes sense that Kardashian and Trump would get along. Although they grew up on opposite coasts, they’re both the privileged daughters of noted power players who went on to achieve notoriety for themselves. Yet, only one of their fathers became the most-controversial American president of the modern age. Then again, that might explain the suddenly deepening friendship.
Though Kardashian publicly signaled her support for Hilary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, she famously met with President Trump in the White House to discuss prison reform and advocate for the release of Alice Johnson (she claimed at the time she’d talk to any politician of any background about the topic). It turns out that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner were pivotal to making that meeting happen. In his memoir Breaking History, Kushner wrote that Kardashian originally reached out to Ivanka in 2017 to advocate for Johnson before he took control of arranging the meeting.
Kim and Ivanka had crossed paths on prior occasions, including at the Met Gala and other society shindigs. At one point, Kardashian even reportedly considered buying the Kushner’s old Manhattan apartment. In a 2020 profile in the New York Times, Kim identified Ivanka as “a friend.” But the pair never seemed to be quite “invited-to-the-birthday-party” close—until now.
Whatever the case, it’s a surprising return to the inner circles of fame for Trump. While she was once a sought-after guest for fashion and society events in New York City, Trump has been persona non grata in the city for years (there hasn’t been a photo of her on the website of BFA, the photo agency that chronicles New York’s fashion parties, since May 2016). Post-White House, she retreated to a ritzy enclave north of Miami, and has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. Outside of being spotted on a yacht with David Guetta and occasionally popping up at a few events during Art Basel Miami Beach, Trump certainly doesn’t run in the same glitzy circles she once did.
Of course, her father is not only currently running for president once again, he’s technically leading the polls in the Republican primary, despite not yet partaking in any of the candidate debates. Most of his family, Ivanka notably included, so far have steered clear of his 2024 campaign. Ivanka actually released a statement back in 2022, clarifying she was stepping away from politics. “This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” she wrote. “I do not plan to be involved in politics.”