Something started to spread over the summer when Donald Trump turned the White House lawn into a venue for the Republican National Convention finale and potentially a living, breathing . It wasn’t a COVID-19 outbreak—that would come later, at another White House celebration with scant masks and a misguided . What circulated, in text-message exchanges from the Hamptons to Hollywood, was a split second of taken as cameras panned the crowd. In it, viewers caught sight of friends of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, including Wendi Deng Murdoch and Tico Mugrabi. Murdoch, a longtime close friend of the couple and Rupert’s ex-wife, wore a red and white floral dress and a red face mask that blared “MAGA” across the mouth.
The vast array of responses I’ve collected over the past week have amounted to a few key takeaways: The couple will be accepted, whether in New York or Palm Beach, by a combination of society-adjacent couples and real-deal Republicans, but not by the group of people to which they would like to belong, and not without social consequences for those who do choose to pal around with Jivanka.
“They’ll be welcomed back by people who know the Trumps are as close as they’ll get to power,” one former friend told me. “But everyone with self-respect, a career, morals, respect for democracy, or who doesn’t want their friends to shame them both in private and public will steer clear.” As another longtime former acquaintance explained, “They will probably be welcomed by real estate types and that group of Upper East Side and Palm Beach families that read about themselves in Quest magazine but don’t matter.”
“There will always be private dinner parties for them to attend, but they will be the entertainment,” this person continued. “And Ivanka is no Princess Margaret and Jared is not the Duke of Windsor regaling guests with amusing bon mots to a captive audience. No one wants to hear about Sarah Huckabee’s pies or Steve Bannon’s shirts.”