State Dept. says it did not coordinate with Trump Jr. on India speech

State Dept. says it did not coordinate with Trump Jr. on India speech

The State Department on Tuesday distanced itself from Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE's trip to India, telling reporters he is traveling as a private citizen and that the agency played no role in shaping his message during the visit.

Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the department, said "overall, the United States embassy doesn’t have any role in that visit," and that Trump Jr. is not visiting in an official capacity.

Nauert said the embassy has been in touch with U.S. Secret Service about the visit, but noted such communication is standard. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump Jr., President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE's eldest son, is in India this week to promote luxury apartments at a Trump-branded development outside of New Delhi. 

While the trip has been billed as an unofficial one, Trump Jr. is also expected to deliver a speech this week on Indo-Pacific relations at a business summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also expected to speak at the event.

Trump Jr. doesn't hold a post in his father's administration. When the president took office last year, he handed control of day-to-day operations of his real estate empire to Trump Jr. and his second son, Eric TrumpEric TrumpHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe Trump to Pence on Jan. 6: 'You don't have the courage' Florida city bans gambling amid prospects of Trump-owned casino MORE.

Trump Jr.'s trip to India, however, has raised concern among some ethics watchdogs that the Trump Organization, the president's for-profit company, is hawking access to the president's son abroad.

Nauert, however, denied that Trump Jr.'s trip was in any kind of official capacity. 

"He is there as a private citizen and I don’t have any comment beyond that," Nauert said at a department press briefing.