German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come to the defense of Ivanka Trump after outcry over Ivanka briefly filling in for her father, President Donald Trump, at a G20 summit event in Hamburg, Germany, last week.
When a picture showing Ivanka filling in for Trump during a meeting at the G20 summit surfaced Saturday, people lost their minds — and the move was even compared to something that happens in dictatorships.
Why the hell is Ivanka Trump sitting in for daddy at G20 meetings?! What are her qualifications? Who voted for her?— Charles M. Blow (@Charles M. Blow)1499515669.0
This kind of thing happens all the time. In dictatorships. https://t.co/CKiLwhvjDz— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈)1499520772.0
The picture caused outrage because it showed Ivanka sitting with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping. May and Jinping are world leaders, while Ivanka is only an adviser to her father.
To set the record straight, Ivanka didn't sit in on an important economic or military panel. Instead, Ivanka only joined the world leaders when the president of the World Bank spoke about a women’s entrepreneurship fund that Ivanka spearheaded with the World Bank. Otherwise, Ivanka was sitting at the back of the room, according to a White House statement.
"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.
But even if Ivanka had sat at the main table during other discussions, according to Merkel, who served as host of this year's summit, it wouldn't have made a difference.
"Ivanka Trump belonged to the American delegation, so that is in line with what other delegations do. And it is known that she works at the White House and carries responsibility for certain initiatives," Merkel told reporters Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
Still, that didn't stop some Democrats from criticizing Ivanka further. Ben Rhodes and Dan Pfeiffer, who both served in high-level roles in the Obama administration, admonished Ivanka on Twitter:
Sort of the whole point of America was that governmental authority was bestowed by the people not by birth https://t.co/2sE1a6Vlcr— Dan Pfeiffer (@Dan Pfeiffer)1499525636.0
If another G20 leader put their daughter or son in the chair we'd be talking about democratic backsliding.— Ben Rhodes (@Ben Rhodes)1499543920.0