The relationship between Ivanka Trump and her father, President Donald Trump, has become near constant fodder for speculation on social media. Perhaps because the line separating personal and professional is so thin as to be essentially non-existent. Recent events at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany certainly didn't help matters. When Ivanka Trump sat in for her father at the G-20 summit, the brief moment was caught on camera. And people were seriously not impressed.
There have been questions about Ivanka Trump's official role as adviser to her father ever since he was elected in November. While she might have extensive experience in the world of business, creating her own eponymous fashion and jewelry line as well as branding herself as a champion for working women. But her experience in the political world was virtually non-existent (although to be fair, the same could be said of her father and he is now the president). Ivanka Trump is not an elected official. She was not chosen to represent the American people. She is, quite simply, the daughter of the president. And yet for a brief moment she took the position of head of state during a G-20 meeting while her father left the room to conduct meetings.
In the photo, which was s hared by a Russian official (who has since deleted the tweet), Ivanka sat between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping during an information session on “Partnership with Africa, Migration and Health.”
A White House official told NBC News:
Ivanka was sitting the back and then briefly joined the main table when the President had to step out.
The same official also noted that other world leaders stepped out during the session, and that their seats were also filled by someone else. Unfortunately, this explanation didn't seem to appease critics, who were not impressed to see an unpaid, inexperienced adviser briefly sitting in the position of head of state.
Despite the assertion by the White House that other world leaders had someone take their seat for a moment as they exited, to give the impression that this sort of behavior is normal is intensely misleading. Traditionally, world leaders deputize another government official to take their place, not one of their children. It's especially noteworthy when that child has an as-yet-undefined role as adviser and assistant in the White House, and the president doesn't seem to be especially concerned about defining what that role might be. At an economic women's empowerment event on Saturday, Trump told the crowd, according to NBC News:
I'm very proud of my daughter Ivanka, always have been from day one. I have to tell you that. If she weren't my daughter it would be so much easier for her. It might be the only bad thing she has going.
Their complicated father/daughter relationship really isn't supposed to be part of our political landscape. Enough with the murky tag teaming, folks; perhaps it's time for at least one of them to get a handle on foreign affairs and stop embarrassing Americans at home.