Weighing in on the shocking-but-not-shocking news of the day? Many celebrities, including Jewish supermodel Karlie Kloss. Kloss is, notably, married to Josh Kushner, brother of Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner, notably, is married to Ivanka Trump, daughter of Donald Trump, the man who encouraged this coup because he couldn’t accept the fact he lost in a fair election.
We’ve previously reported on everything we know about Karlie Kloss and Ivanka Trump’s relationship, which mostly looks like Ivanka trying to publicly proclaim their closeness while Karlie ignores her. (And here’s a detailed timeline of Karlie and Josh Kushner’s relationship, if you’re nosy like we are.)
Still with us? Okay, cool. Let’s move along to the coup.
Kloss, 28, tweeted on the evening of January 6, “Accepting the results of a legitimate democratic election is patriotic. Refusing to do so and inciting violence is anti-American.”
Accepting the results of a legitimate democratic election is patriotic. Refusing to do so and inciting violence is anti-American.
— Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) January 7, 2021
In a reply, someone wrote, “Tell your sister in law and brother law.”
Kloss, who rarely comments on her family publicly, replied with two words: “I’ve tried.” Gasp!
— Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) January 7, 2021
Here’s a screenshot in case anything gets deleted…
Let’s back up a moment: This is not the first time Karlie Kloss, or her husband Josh, have been confronted about their brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Josh was spotted at the Women’s March in 2017, protesting his brother’s father-in-law’s inauguration:
— Benjamin Freed (@brfreed) January 21, 2017
In a 2018 Vogue profile, Karlie said, “At the end of the day, I’ve had to make decisions based on my own moral compass—forget what the public says, forget social media.” She continued, “Josh and I share a lot of the same liberal values that guide our lives and the things we stand for.”
Both Karlie and Josh attended the #MarchForOurLives protest in Washington, D.C., in March 2018, against the Trump administration and in favor of stricter gun control laws following the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Reports also came out that Josh Kushner donated $50,000 to the March for Our Lives.
The couple then went quiet for a bit — they got engaged in July 2018 and married in October 2018 in a private ceremony in upstate New York, then celebrated with friends in June 2019 in Wyoming. According to People, Jared and Ivanka were in Wyoming at the same time and stopped by, but didn’t actually attend the wedding festivities.
Skip ahead a year, and there was a moment in early 2020 on Project Runway, the fashion competition show that Kloss now hosts, where the challenge was designing a dress that Karlie would wear. Judge Brandon Maxwell, commenting on one dress, said, “I cannot see Karlie wearing it anywhere, honestly.”
“Not even to dinner with the Kushners?” the contestant, Tyler Neasloney, replied.
There were gasps, and the moment quickly went viral:
Speaking on Watch What Happens Live to Andy Cohen in January 2020, Kloss said, “Andy, I’m sure I’m not the only person in this country who does not necessarily agree with their family on politics. I voted as a Democrat in 2016 and I plan to do the same in 2020.”
So now, we’re here, the day after an attempted coup, and 13 days until the inauguration of Joe Biden, and Karlie Kloss is saying that she’s “tried” to speak with Ivanka and Jared about Donald Trump.
Anyone who has attempted over these past four years to talk to their Trump-supporting family members about the dangers he has stoked might recognize the model’s self-defeated attitude: Sometimes all we can do is try, and very often, it won’t make a damn difference. Of course, Karlie Kloss was never going to be the savior of our democracy, but it is slightly encouraging to know that not everybody in the Trumps’ orbit has abandoned their morals to join a sinking ship.
So, Karlie, thanks for trying?
Update: Tavi Gevinson, a Jewish American writer most known for Rookie magazine, is not impressed. In an Instagram story, she wrote, “What @karliekloss means to say is: ‘I have no real interest in using my political power so much as maintaining a watery ‘feminist’ liberal brand while protecting my ties to the Trumps and Kushners and vaguely claiming I’ve ‘tried’ to change their minds. I’ve had 4+ years to be explicit and specific about the threats my in-laws pose. Instead, I’ve chosen to help legitimize their bigotry by branding us as simply having different political views.
I have a girls coding organization, and am hoping my Resistance Barbie brand will distract you from the fact that I maintain a relationship with my brother-in-law who befriended MBS, or my sister-in-law who called the armed mob last night ‘patriots’ in a since-deleted tweet, or that both of them are complicit in years of white supremacist policies and the President’s successful attempts to incite violence among his supporters. Now that you can rest assured I’m just like you, only rich: Buy my Adidas line.”