As one of at least nine panelists at a women’s summit in Berlin on Tuesday, Ivanka Trump was met with boos and hisses from the audience when she talked about her father, President Donald Trump.
This was Ivanka Trump’s first trip abroad representing the Trump administration and received the most aggressive questions of the bunch, says Politico’s Annie Karni:
Ivanka Trump arrived in Berlin on Tuesday morning armed with facts and figures to recite at what was expected to be a highbrow international summit to discuss women's entrepreneurship, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But on her first trip abroad as an official representative of the United States, the first daughter was put on the spot about her father's attitudes toward women, booed and hissed at by the crowd, and grilled by the moderator about what, exactly, her role is in President Donald Trump’s administration.
“You’re the first daughter of the United States, and you’re also an assistant to the president,” said the moderator, WirtschaftsWoche editor-in-chief Miriam Meckel. “The German audience is not that familiar with the concept of a first daughter. I’d like to ask you, what is your role, and who are you representing, your father as president of the United States, the American people, or your business?”
It was an aggressive opening line of questioning for the first daughter, who was seated next to Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and one seat down from Merkel. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands was also a participant on the W20 Summit panel, which Ivanka Trump attended at Merkel's invitation. And it appeared to put her on the spot.
Trump defended herself, saying she was certainly not there to promote her brand, but to empower women in the workplace like everyone else. She reminded them that it has only been 100 days since her father took office and she’s got a lot of learning to do.
The audience was mostly women and they didn’t miss the opportunity to voice their disagreement when Trump said, “I’m very proud of my father’s advocacy. He’s been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive.”
The moderator jumped at the chance to ask Trump for her immediate reaction to the audience's jeers: “You hear the reaction from the audience. I need to address one more point — some attitudes toward women your father has displayed might leave one questioning whether he’s such an empowerer for women.”
Gracefully, Trump responded, “I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media, that’s been perpetuated.” And then she reminded them all that she is Trump’s daughter and should know better than anyone if her father is a sexist pig:
“As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level. I grew up in a house where there was no barrier to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and tenacity. That’s not an easy thing to do; he provided that for us.”
Trump said her father never treated her any differently from her two brothers, Eric and Donald Jr., and said President Trump has placed women in very prominent roles in his administration.
“Politics is politics, as I’m learning,” Trump said. “My father is a champion for all Americans — women, of course.... I think the fact that he’s embraced my interest in taking on this role shows that he aligns with the interests I most deeply care about and advocate for. Otherwise it wouldn’t make for a very good family dynamic.”