President Trump was quick to defend Ivanka on Twitter Monday morning. She faced criticism this weekend when she briefly took the president’s seat at the G-20 Summit. Trump tweeted: “When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat. Very standard. Angela M agrees!” Trump added this information later, “If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!”
Chelsea was quick to respond: “Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not.” Ivanka has stayed out of the social media fray and has not responded.
The president’s daughter sat in her father’s seat on his behalf during a working session on Saturday morning in Hamburg, Germany. Her presence caused a stir among Trump critics on social media. A photo of Ivanka sitting next to Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was first tweeted by Svetlana Lukash. She is a self-described G20 Russian Sherpa, a title given to people who help international delegations at large summits. Her tweet has since been deleted.
Although it is uncommon for a member of the president’s family to sit in on a meeting of this level with world leaders, Ivanka Trump serves the administration in a formal capacity as an adviser to the President. A Trump official relayed this information,
“Ivanka was sitting in the back and then briefly joined the main table when the President had to step out, and the President of the World Bank started talking as the topic involved areas such as African development — areas that will benefit from the facility just announced by the World Bank,” the senior administration official told CNN. “When other leaders stepped out, their seats were also briefly filled by others,” the official noted.
German Chancellor Merkel said that Ivanka’s presence was not uncommon, “The delegations themselves decide” who will sit in for a President if they can’t be present for a meeting, Merkel told reporters. “Ivanka Trump was part of the American delegation, so that is something that other delegations also do, and it is very well known that she works in the White House and that she is also engaged in certain initiatives,” Merkel added further.
A United States ambassador to Russia under former President Obama said that Ivanka sitting in for her father was unusual, “This is strange,” he tweeted, “Very strange.”
Brian Fallon, a CNN political commentator and former spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s campaign tweeted, “I’m sure Republicans would have taken it in stride if Chelsea Clinton was deputized to perform head of state duties.”
What do you think about Ivanka’s presence at the table with world leaders while Trump was away?