The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021 by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser:
The exception, though, seemed to be Ivanka, clearly his favorite child. Now thirty-five, she had spent the previous few years as an executive vice president at the Trump Organization and as a boardroom judge on The Apprentice before developing her own brands of clothing, handbags, and jewelry. She had acquired the reputation as the one who could calm her father’s rages or steer him in a more constructive direction—sometimes. His admiration for her sometimes took on a creepy tone. More than once in the years before the White House, he had praised her body, most infamously during a 2006 joint appearance on The View when he said, “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her.” He thought so much of her that he proposed putting her on his ticket in 2016 as his vice presidential running mate. Campaign aides thought he was kidding at first, but he kept pressing. “She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!” Trump insisted at one meeting. As would happen so many times in the four years to come, his advisers humored him, hoping he would simply forget the idea. But after spending weeks vetting other candidates he did not like, Trump came around to his daughter again. “I think it should be Ivanka,” he said. This time the team agreed to test the idea in a poll, figuring the results would make clear how nutty it was. But she tested better than they thought, in low double digits, stronger than some of the real candidates.