US President Donald Trump is defending giving his seat to his daughter, Ivanka, at a G20 meeting, by involving at least two other figures into the controversy.
The president let the first daughter fill in for him at a high-level meeting of the Group of 20 in Hamburg, where Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were also in attendance.
“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,” a senior Trump administration official told CNN. “When other leaders stepped out, their seats were also briefly filled by others.”
Trump came out in defense of the decision by an early Monday tweet, asserting that it was “very standard.”
“When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat. Very standard. Angela M agrees!”
Merkel told reporters, that the practice is not uncommon and “the delegations themselves decide” who should sit at the president’s seat if he is not available.
(L-R) US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the daughter of the US president, Ivanka Trump, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde attend the “Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Event” at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017.
“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 said.
In April, Ivanka Trump took part at the Women 20 Summit at Merkel’s invitation for a new initiative supposedly aimed at promoting women’s entrepreneurship in developing countries.
In another tweet, Trump brought the daughter of his 2016 presidential opponent, Chelsea Clinton
, into the controversy.
“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!” he said.
Chelsea Clinton speaks during the The Hillary Victory Fund Stronger Together Concert at the St. James Theater in New York on October 17, 2016.
Since the 2016 campaign, Trump has repeatedly used the term “fake news” largely for any coverage criticizing him or his allies.
Chelsea Clinton immediately responded on Twitter, saying, “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.”