Now Ivanka Trump takes over for her dad and sits in his place at the G20 – and the president’s critics are hopping mad.
Ivanka Trump turned heads on Saturday at the G20 summit by temporarily taking a seat at the big-kids’ table when her father, President Donald Trump, stepped out for a bilateral
meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
A White House official told DailyMail.com that the younger Trump’s fill-in role was nothing out of the ordinary.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May was seen leaving the G20 meeting room at one point, a source with knowledge of the summit’s goings-on said, and her place was briefly taken by an aide.
But when the 35-year-old former fashion executive sat at the table with Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Angela Merkel and Theresa May, Trump’s enemies pounced.
Historian Anne Applebaum tweeted a complaint, denouncing ‘an unelected, unqualified, unprepared New York socialite’ being seen as ‘the best person to represent American national interests.’
Brian Klass, an Oxford scholar who once served as deputy campaign manager for a Democratic governor of Minnesota, tweeted that she was representing the U.S. as an ‘unelected, unqualified daughter-in-chief.’
‘This kind of thing happens all the time. In dictatorships,’ added self-described women’s rights activist Amy Siskind.
And Charles Blow, the liberal New York Times columnist, wrote flatly: ‘Why the hell is Ivanka Trump sitting in for daddy at G20 meetings?! What are her qualifications? Who voted for her?’
It’s not uncommon for leaders to send proxies to attend meetings in their steads, even at high-profile international summits.
Hillary Clinton also famously stepped in during the 1990s to lead a government commission on redesigning the nation’s health care system, standing in for her husband despite not having been elected to any official post.
The Trump White House official said Saturday that Ms. Trump ‘was sitting in the back and then briefly joined the main table when the President had to step out.’
The official said that when Ivanka stepped up, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim had begun to talk about ‘areas such as African development – areas that will benefit from the facility just announced by the World Bank.’
That facility, a women’s entrepreneurship empowerment fund, was spearheaded by Ivanka and has grown to $300 million with the help of a $50 million U.S. donation.