MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ivanka Trump on Tuesday defended her father’s record in advancing women’s issues during her first international trip as White House advisor.
The conference was about improving the role of working women but the first thing Ivanka had to do was defend her father’s attitude on women. It’s something that garnered booing from some members of the crowd during the W20 Summit, a women-focused effort within the group of 20 countries.
“You hear the reaction from the audience so I need to address one more point. Some attitudes towards women your father has publicly displayed, in former times, might leave one questioning whether he’s such an empowerer for women. How do you relate to that, or are things changing? Or what’s your comment on that,” the moderator asked Ivanka.
“I’ve certainly heard the criticism from the media (laughs from audience), and that’s been perpetuated, but I know from personal experience, and I think the thousands of women who have worked with, and for, my father for decades when he was in the private sector, are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women,” said Ivanka.
She went on, “I grew up in a house where there were no barriers to what I could accomplish, beyond my own perseverance and my own tenacity and I don’t take that lightly as a parent now myself. That’s not an easy thing to do and he [Donald Trump] did that and he provided that for us. There was no difference from me and my brothers. And I think as a business leader you saw that, and as a president, you will absolutely see that.”
She’s also there because Angela Merkel knows an opportunity when she sees one. When the German Chancellor went to Washington to meet Ivanka’s father, the atmosphere bordered on icy. When Merkel met Ivanka and invited her to the Berlin women’s conference, that invitation was about more than playing to the first daughter’s interests.
Political analysts like Josef Braml said it was a way to use a side door to get into the White House.
“You get access to Donald Trump and maybe a moderating effect to Donald Trump,” Braml.
“As we think about paid leave, sadly, the United States is one of the only countries in the world, the only developed country in the world, that doesn’t have a paid leave policy for the benefit of families,” said Ivanka during the summit.
But her visit isn’t about issues. It’s about trying to jump-start a stalled relationship.
It remains unclear what Ivanka thinks about the issues that have come between her father and Merkel, like refugees, NATO and Russia.
The Trump administration has yet to appoint a new ambassador to Berlin, so in terms of high-level diplomacy in present day, she is it.