Biden's daughter Ashley on not having traditional hand-off at White House on Inauguration Day: 'I think we're all OK with it'
Posted January 19, 2021 11:04 a.m. EST
CNN — President-elect Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley Biden, did her first network television interview with another member of the small club of presidential children, Jenna Bush Hager of NBC.
In an interview that aired Tuesday, Ashley Biden said her mother, incoming first lady Jill Biden, has not heard from first lady Melania Trump about any kind of traditional handoff at the White House, as is custom on Inauguration Day.
"I don't think they're doing the traditional protocol, which is unfortunate, but I think we're all OK with it," Ashley Biden said.
Ashley Biden, a private person who does not have any public social media accounts, said she will not have a job in her father's administration, unlike Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's daughter.
But she will use her platform "to advocate for social justice, for mental health, to be involved in community development and revitalization," she said.
Ashley Biden reflected on the attacks that were leveled against her family during the presidential campaign and said, "The cruelty and the meanness, that's why I'm not, I don't have a social media account that's public."
"Part of it is also having boundaries for myself, because I believe in kindness. I believe in the humanity of all of us," she continued.
Ashley Biden is the only child of Joe and Jill Biden. The President-elect had two sons, Beau and Hunter, and a daughter, Naomi, with his first wife, Neilia. Neilia and Naomi, who was an infant at the time, were both killed in a car crash in 1972.
Ashley spoke of the close bond she had with Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, and said when her father takes the oath of office on Wednesday, she knows Beau "will be there with us."
"He was 46 when he passed. Dad will be the 46th president," she said.
She recalled a heartfelt moment she and her father shared when she said they felt Beau's presence with them in South Carolina. A small community church they had stepped into was playing the hymn "On Eagle's Wings" which she said reminds her father of Beau.
"Dad and I looked at each other, started bawling, hugged, and were like, this is Beau," she said.
Ashley Biden said family is the most important thing to her father, and said, "We have a rule, still today, that no matter where Dad is, no matter what meeting he's in, if one of the kids' call, you have to get him out."
She spoke about how her mother, Jill Biden, keeps her father grounded, and "always" reminds him to take out the trash and put his cereal bowl away. She described her mother as "fierce" and "extremely loyal."
Ashley Biden described the riot at the US Capitol on January 6 by a mob of Trump supporters, which left five people dead, as "truly horrifying" and said she was "deeply saddened."
"This was a place I grew up going as a child, as you did too, and a place where Dad has worked for over 30 years. A sacred place, really," she said.
She worries about the safety of her family, she said, but is reassured by the United States Secret Service.
When the presidential race was called for Biden, days after Election Day as a record number of mail-in ballots were counted amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ashley Biden said she had been taking a nap upstairs but came rushing down when she heard celebrations.
"After the excitement, I sat next to Dad, while he was on the phone, and just grabbed his hand," Ashley Biden said.
She praised her father and said she took issue with characterizations of him as a "gaffe machine."
"I thought the media kind of always got it wrong when they made him out to be this gaffe machine, or that he wasn't, you know, as smart. I mean, the man is brilliant."