Merkel defends Ivanka Trump sitting in at G-20 meeting
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday defended President Trump’s daughter Ivanka for briefly sitting in for her father during a Group of 20 summit meeting in Germany.
Merkel, who served as the host leader of this year’s summit, said at a news conference that it was up to individual nations to decide who represented them, Bloomberg reported.
“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, according to the report.
“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.”
A photo of the first daughter sitting beside British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping surfaced on Twitter, drawing some criticism, including from aides to former President Barack Obama.
Cabinet officials typically replace the president at high-level sessions when a stand-in is needed. Ivanka serves as an unpaid adviser to her father in the White House.
“Ivanka was sitting in the back and then briefly joined the main table when the president had to step out,” a White House official said in response to the photo.
The topic at hand reportedly concerned one of Ivanka Trump’s projects, the World Bank finance initiative for women entrepreneurs.