"I think it would've been a lot easier for her if she'd just stayed in NY and did what she was doing", the President told the Atlantic's Elaina Plott in an interview.
"And I don't know what she's actually accomplished", he added.
But if he had nominated his daughter - who is a senior advisor to the president - "they'd say nepotism, when it would've had nothing to do with nepotism".
Still, while Ivana said her daughter is "fine" with Melania, a source close to Ivanka said Ivanka and Melania "have a desire to be mutually respectful" - but their relationship definitely is not an "affectionate" one. That marriage ended in divorce in 1999.More news: Ocasio-Cortez Tells War Vet Congressman To Do Something About Domestic Terror
But Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, added: "They've always shared a close relationship and still do today".
Speaking to The Atlantic, Mr Trump confirmed reports from January that he was considering Ivanka for the vacant position of World Bank president.
Donald Trump believes his daughter Ivanka "would have been incredible" as president of the World Bank.
She was previously a businesswoman and NY socialite. Due to government nepotism regulations, Ivanka's current White House advisory role is unpaid.More news: Georgetown University students vote on fee for slavery reparations
Ivanka Trump lifted her hands, astonished. Only one person gets that kind of look from Donald Trump.
Both Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner serve as presidential advisers. "I was trying to dig up where the first time was that she might have said she was pro-choice, for example, or that she was a huge activist when it came to climate change".
In his bombshell White House-insider bestseller Fire and Fury, the author Michael Wolff wrote that Ivanka Trump aspires to a higher achievement than an appointment from her father: to be the first female USA president.More news: Messaging Might Return to Facebook's Main App