On Monday, President Trump, reacting to criticism for letting his daughter Ivanka “hold his seat” at the G20 conference on Saturday while he met with other countries’ representatives, went on Twitter to deflect the criticism by attacking Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea.
Trump’s initial response on Twitter was a defense of using Ivanka by claiming German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that such an action was “standard”:
When Merkel was asked about the situation on Saturday, she only said, “The delegations themselves decide, should the president not be present for a meeting, who will take the chair, and Ivanka Trump was part of the American delegation.”
Sixteen minutes after his first tweet, Trump segued to attacking Hillary and Chelsea Clinton as well as invoking his oft-reiterated claim of “fake news.”:
Less than an hour later, Chelsea Clinton responded on Twitter:
President Trump was not the only Trump defending the choice of Ivanka; Donald Trump Jr. jumped into the fray on Saturday:
Former NATO ambassador Nicholas Burns, who served Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said that normally the Secretary of State should have substituted for Trump, adding, “This is a group of the 20 most powerful leaders in the world in the 20 most powerful countries in the world. It conveys that impression and we are a democracy and that’s also important here. Authority is not conferred upon family members because of the president’s position.”
Ivanka sat at the table during a discussion of “Partnership With Africa, Migration and Health.” The White House defended the selection of Ivanka by claiming the discussion was revolving around female entrepreneurs in Africa. A White House official said, “Ivanka was sitting in the back and then briefly joined the main table when the president had to step out. When other leaders stepped out, their seats were also briefly filled by others.”