The political world was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton are bipartisan BFFs – but with the election heating up, could their parents’ presidential rivalry put a damper on their friendship?
Chelsea says she won’t let that happen.
“Friendship is always more important than politics,” the former First Daughter tells PEOPLE. “I learned that growing up, watching my parents be friends with people across the political spectrum in Arkansas.”
Indeed, Chelsea’s mom, Hillary Clinton, used to count Ivanka’s dad, Donald Trump, as one of those bipartisan pals – the former secretary of state even attended the real estate mogul’s wedding to wife Melania in 2005, and during friendlier times, Donald donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
But after the two secured their spots as front-runners of their respective political parties, things quickly soured.
The billionaire businessman has publicly called his Democratic counterpart a criminal and the “worst secretary of state in the history of the U.S.,” while Hillary recently slammed Donald in a nationally televised interview for “defaming people.” “He is the candidate of being against [people],” she told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
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Despite their parents’ political differences, Chelsea seems confident that her relationship with Ivanka will weather the 2016 storm.
“I’m really grateful that Ivanka’s my friend,” she says, explaining that the two first connected after their husbands became friends. But the bond the women formed over double dates has evolved into a friendship based on genuine mutual respect and admiration.
In June, Ivanka quoted Chelsea on Twitter, using the hashag #wisewords.
And Chelsea raved about her friend in a February interview with Vogue, saying, “She’s always aware of everyone around her and ensuring that everyone is enjoying the moment … There’s nothing skin-deep about Ivanka.”
“She’s a great woman,” Chelsea adds to PEOPLE.