Did you happen to hear the latest portents of doom and disastrous tidings out of the G-20 summit? After all of the work that was put in (or at least all of the photo ops were established) the entire thing may come crashing down upon itself. The reason? During a presentation being given on partnership opportunities with Africa, President Trump was seen abandoning his post at the table where he was listening to the speech and being replaced by (insert Dramatic Hamster music here) his daughter Ivanka.
This, as noted in the Washington Post was, as perceived by some people, at the very least… unusual.
Trump’s presence at the high-level table was somewhat unusual, given that government ministers are typically the ones called to stand in for heads of state at such sessions.
Ivanka, who entered the session with her father, “briefly joined the main table when the President had to step out” a spokesman for the first daughter said.
It isn’t the first time that she has participated in high level meetings at the summit.
Actually, the Post’s response was exceptionally muted when compared to some others. (But keep an eye on that comment about how the President had to “step out” of the meeting. We’ll get back to that in a moment.) A few well known reporters were all over this world-shaking event quick like a bunny.
This is utterly bizarre, if true: Ivanka Trump sitting in on G20 working group in place of her dad. https://t.co/pM6IuAsGAI
— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) July 8, 2017
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) July 8, 2017
— The Independent (@Independent) July 8, 2017
Charles Blow of the New York Times chimed in with the following calm, reasoned observation on Twitter. (I had to get this one second hand since the tough-as-nails “visual op-ed columnist” for the Gray Lady blocked me after I previously penned an unfavorable column about him.)
Why the hell is Ivanka Trump sitting in for daddy at G20 meetings?! What are her qualifications? Who voted for her?
So this was quite the disaster, eh? Imagine the nerve of the President not only abandoning his important duties, but letting one of his children take his place. It was an insult to the assemblage. Or… perhaps not. Someone at Bloomberg actually took a moment to examine the situation and found that there was nothing to see here and Trump was simply doing what many of the other assembled leaders had done throughout the day.
A spokesman for Ivanka Trump said she had been sitting in the back of the room and then briefly joined the main table when the president stepped out. The president of the World Bank addressed the meeting, which was about African migration and health — areas that would benefit from a facility that Ivanka Trump and the World Bank had announced shortly before the meeting, the spokesman said.
G-20 leaders are allowed to bring staff into the room for some of the meetings, and when other leaders stepped out during today’s session, their seats were briefly filled by others. Ivanka Trump serves as an unpaid adviser to her father, as an assistant to the president.
Ivanka Trump is a presidential adviser and travels on many of these trips as part of the staff. Donald Trump was not the speaker nor did he have any “official duties” at that point beyond listening to the presentation. If you don’t think his daughter is capable of doing that much and summarizing it for him later then you apparently have a problem with women.
Oh… and why did President Trump “step away” as the Washington Post describes it? Bathroom break? Just bored with the proceedings and wanted to check on the baseball scores? Nope. Bloomberg had that angle covered as well.
Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, took his seat at a Group of 20 meeting table in Hamburg, sitting in for the president when he stepped away for one-on-one meetings with world leaders.
Hm… meeting one-on-one with other world leaders sounds like a rather plausible reason to be briefly away from the table during a lengthy speech. In light of all this I may have to rethink my original assessment. Perhaps the world isn’t going to end today over this after all.