On Tuesday, first daughter Ivanka Trump attended an international summit in Berlin to share her perspective on women’s entrepreneurship, after receiving an invitation from none other than the German Chancellor herself. But even a rubber stamp from Angela Merkel didn’t stop the left-leaning German audience at the event from hissing and booing Ivanka as they projected their anxieties about her father in crude fashion.
The event’s moderator didn’t do Ivanka any favors. Throwing a series of confrontational and accusatory questions at the first daughter, WirtschaftsWoche editor-in-chief Miriam Meckel had already rendered Ivanka culpable for her father’s supposed ills through guilt-by-association.
“You’re the first daughter of the United States, and you’re also an assistant to the President,” stated Meckel. “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?”
So much for female solidarity.
You know it’s bad when the liberal publication Politico admits that from the get-go the moderator’s interrogation of Ivanka appeared “aggressive.”
“It was an aggressive opening line of questioning for the first daughter, who was seated next to Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and one seat down from Merkel. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands was also a participant on the W20 Summit panel, which Ivanka Trump attended at Merkel's invitation,” reports Politico. “And it appeared to put her on the spot.”
“The questions asked of Trump seemed more direct than those about women in the workforce posed to other panelists,” adds Politico.
While Ivanka attempted to brave the ambush with grace and class, suggesting that she cares “very much about empowering women in the workplace," the German audience gave no quarter, dismissing the female executive as her father’s puppet.
The crowd refused to relent even when Ivanka called herself a “feminist.”
“I’m striving to think about how best to empower women in the economy,” she said, humbly. “I have no doubt that coming out of this trip I’ll be more informed.”
“I’m very proud of my father’s advocacy,” she added, lauding President Trump as a “a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive.”
And yet, all the diplomatic language (and welfare-state inspired concessions) in the world couldn’t suppress the anti-Trump hysteria in the room.
“But she was booed and hissed at by the majority-women audience at the conference when she lauded her father for supporting paid-leave policies,” notes Politico.
The hissing and booing got so loud that the moderator called Ivanka’s attention to them, asking the first daughter to comment on the implications of a room full of angry Germans hating a de facto representative of the White House.
“You hear the reaction from the audience,” asked Meckel. “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.”
Ivanka took the question in stride, answering that she has “certainly heard the criticism from the media that’s been perpetuated.” That response lightened the mood in the room, drawing scattered chuckles from the largely hostile audience.
As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level. I grew up in a house where there was no barrier to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and tenacity. That’s not an easy thing to do; he provided that for us.