President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday morning to defend his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, after she was attacked online for taking over his seat at a G20 summit meeting.
On Saturday, Ivanka Trump briefly assumed her father's seat at the 2017 meeting of the Group of 20 nations in Hamburg, Germany. A photo of the first daughter sitting next to British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping, captured by a Russian representative, made the rounds on Twitter, where it prompted outrage from left-leaning critics.
That included shots from members of the mainstream media. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof called the move "banana-republicky," and former New York Observer editor in chief Elizabeth Spiers quipped, "The G20 is not Take Your Daughter to Work day."
Ivanka fills in for her dad beside Xi Jinping. To me, it feels banana-republicky for the US to be represented by an inexperienced daughter. https://t.co/lDDlyCeFp9
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) July 8, 2017
The G20 is not Take Your Daughter to Work day. https://t.co/wOlfQkBfEM
— Elizabeth Spiers (@espiers) July 8, 2017
President Trump responded in kind on Twitter, insisting that the move was "very standard." He added that "Angela M agrees," referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel indeed defended the move as licit and normal for G20 delegations.
"The delegations themselves decide, should the president not be present for a meeting, who will then take over and sit in the chair," Merkel said. "Ivanka Trump was part and parcel of the American delegation so that is something that other delegations also do. It's very well known that she works at the White House and is also engaged in certain initiatives."
Donald Trump then brought up another president's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, to further defend his point—while taking a shot at the press in the process.
"If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother,as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!" Trump wrote in a subsequent tweet.
Clinton responded less than an hour later.
"It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me," wrote the vice chair of the Clinton Foundation.
Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not. https://t.co/4ODjWZUp0c
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) July 10, 2017