Ivanka Trump jeered while defending her father’s record on women at G20 conference in Berlin


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President Donald Trump’s daughter and White House advisor Ivanka Trump elicited groans and laughter on Tuesday from some members of the audience at a conference in Germany after she defended her father’s attitude and record on women, calling him a “tremendous champion” of families.

An entrepreneur, Ms Trump, 35, was in Berlin to represent the United States at a G20-related conference known as W20 on female business leaders and economic empowerment.

Ivanka Trump defends father’s stance on women

Speaking at a W20 summit in Berlin, Ivanka Trump defends the President’s attitude toward women as she makes her first international outing as a White House adviser.

Speaking on a panel that included Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, and Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms Trump was asked about her role in the White House and President Trump’s previous comments about treating women disrespectfully.

Her father was famously caught on tape during the filming of an episode of Access Hollywood bragging that as a famous person, he could “do anything” he wanted to a woman, including grabbing them by their genitals, and has repeatedly called prominent women disparaging names like “dogs”.

President Trump has been “a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive,” Ivanka Trump said. That comment prompted some members of the audience to groan and the panel’s moderator, Miriam Meckel, editor-in-chief of WirtschaftsWoche, to comment on the audience’s response.

Some journalists in the room reported hearing hissing and boos, though it was not audible on the microphones located on stage.

“You hear the reaction from the audience,” Meckel said. “I need to address one more point. Some attitudes toward women your father has displayed might leave one questioning whether he’s such an empowerer for women.”

Ms Trump replied: “I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media, that’s been perpetuated,” leading to laughter from some of the people attending the conference.

Ms Trump added that the thousands of women who worked for her father’s businesses, “are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.”

Ms Trump’s visit to Germany came at the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, and it was the first daughter’s first international trip as a White House adviser.

“The German audience is not that familiar with the concept of a first daughter,” Meckel, the moderator, asked Ms Trump. “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?”

“Certainly not the latter,” Ms Trump replied, adding: “And I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well, as it is quite new to me.”

“Thank you, chancellor, for your very gracious invitation. I am humbled to be here with so many formidable leaders. I’m listening; I’m learning.”

With the US administration’s policies still in flux, how well Ms Trump and Ms Merkel bridge the gulf in their backgrounds may determine the tone of future relations between the US and Europe. Ms Merkel was impressed with Ms Trump’s seriousness on global issues when they first met in March at the White House, and hopes she’ll be a conduit for influence, according to three German government officials. That may help the chancellor to better navigate the president’s unpredictability and policy switches.

“This is typical Merkel – she works with what she has,” Andrea Roemmele, a political science professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, said by phone. Given Ms Trump’s closeness to the president, “it’s very wise of Merkel” to seek her her out, said Ms Roemmele. “That’s what you call Realpolitik.”

As the conference got underway, President Trump tweeted about his daughter, saying he was proud of her “leadership on these important issues. Looking forward to hearing her speak at the W20!”

The New York Times, Washington Post

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