President Donald Trump took to social media to defend his daughter's participation in the Group of 20 summit. During his statements, the president blasted how the media would have treated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, if she had been deputized to represent the U.S. at a meeting of world leaders.
On July 8, White House special adviser Ivanka Trump took her father's place during the Partnership with Africa, Migration and Health meeting at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.
A White House official justified the un-elected Ivanka's participation during the meeting by citing her newly announced initiative with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
"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 White House official told ABC News.
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Ivanka's seat at the table drew condemnation on social media, with critics asserting that the president was exhibiting nepotism by deputizing his daughter before other U.S. officials.
"Ivanka, [June] 26: 'I try to stay out of politics,'" tweeted out London School of Economics fellow Brian Klaas. "July 8: Seated with global leaders as an equal at the G20 summit."
On July 10, Trump took to Twitter to defend Ivanka's participation during the meeting.
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"When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat," Trump tweeted out. "Very standard. Angela M agrees!"
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel had indeed dismissed criticisms of Ivanka's seat at the table, Bloomberg reports.
"The delegations themselves decide, should the president not be present for a meeting, who will then take over and sit in the chair," Merkel said during a press conference. "Ivanka Trump was part and parcel of the American delegation so that is something that other delegations also do. It's very well known that she works at the White House and is also engaged in certain initiatives."
Trump went further in his defense, citing Chelsea Clinton's active role during her parents' political careers.
"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!"
The Clinton scion swiftly responded on social media.
"Good morning Mr. President," Chelsea tweeted out. "It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not."
While Trump has defended Ivanka's role during the summit, the first daughter's participation during the meeting reportedly irked U.S. allies.
"Yes, it stuck out," a senior European official told The Washington Post. "The very fact that his daughter is senior adviser smacks of the kind of nepotism not seen since John F. Kennedy named Robert F. Kennedy as attorney general."