Ivanka Trump meets Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde in Berlin at W20 event
Tuesday - 25/04/2017 12:48
IVANKA Trump’s claims her father is a “tremendous champion” of women and families has been met with groans and laughter from a live audience in Berlin.
peaking on her first overseas mission as the First Daughter, the 35-year-old was asked straight up by moderator Miriam Meckel what exactly she does at the White House.
“You’re the First Daughter of the United States and you’re also an assistant to the President....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?” Meckel said.
Ivanka replied it was “certainly not the latter. I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well as it is quite new to me. It has been a little under 100 days but it has just been a remarkable journey.”
She said she was “humbled” to be among such leaders and would be “listening and learning” to take advice back to the President.
She also described her father as “a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive” in comments met with groans and jeers.
After the audience reaction Meckel pressed further, saying: “Some attitudes toward women your father has publicly displayed... might leave one questioning whether he is such an empowerer for women...what’s your comment on that?”
“I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media and that’s been perpetuated,” Ivanka said.
“But I know from personal experience that I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades, when he was in the private sector, are testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.”
Ivanka appeared with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, IMF boss Christine Lagarde, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, as well as Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, leader of German company Trumpf GmbH.
She spoke about how she is “very aligned” with the President on many issues.
“That’s why he’s encouraged me to lean into this opportunity and come into the White House and be by his side as we think through these complex issues,” she said.
President Trump has made headlines for his sexist attitudes towards women, including comments caught on tape where he spoke about “grabbing them by the p*ssy”.
Ivanka is widely seen as a moderating influence on him, along with her husband Jared Kushner, but their role as advisers without any political or diplomatic experience has sparked plenty of criticism.
While she struggled to define her role on the panel initially, Ivanka spoke about the need to empower women around the world and said she grew up in a house where there “were no barriers to what I could accomplish.”
She defined herself as a feminist and spoke about the need for women to embark on STEM careers and “respectfully disagree” with one another in a nod to her father’s polarising political effect.
“I do label myself a feminist and I think of that in very broad terms...I think of that as believing in the social, political and economic equality for all genders,” she said.
“We have to go out into the world, find people who disagree with us and try and understand their viewpoints.”
Ivanka was invited to appear at the event by Chancellor Merkel when she was in the US recently to meet with Donald Trump. Despite an awkward first encounter in which he referenced phone tapping and didn’t shake her hand, Trump claimed the pair had “unbelievable chemistry”.