What is Ivanka Doing?
July 1, 2019

After Ivanka Trump returned from the North Korean side of the DMZ on Sunday, she pronounced the experience "surreal." Christopher Hill, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and a North Korea nuclear negotiator, had a different word for Trump's high-profile participation in her father President Trump's visit to the DMZ and the preceding Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan: "Increasingly problematic."

"It looks to the rest of the world like we have a kind of a constitutional monarchy," Hill told The Washington Post. "It says to our allies, to everyone we do business with, that the only people who matter are Trump and his family members." At the G-20 meeting, Ivanka Trump "was everywhere," her "hybrid and often inscrutable role" as stand-in first lady, quasi-diplomat, presidential daughter, and White House employee on full display for unknown reasons, the Post reports. And her presence at meetings sometimes "puzzled other participants."

The most public manifestation of this was International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde's "impatient side-eye" at Trump when she appeared to try unsuccessfully to add to a conversation between the elected leaders of Britain, France, and Canada. "It may be shocking to some," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted about the video, "but being someone's daughter actually isn't a career qualification."

Ivanka Trump's high profile was evident right away, when President Trump, "after posing for the official welcome picture with Japan's [Shinzo] Abe," summoned "over two other Americans to join them for a photo — not his secretary of state or national security adviser but Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner," noted The New York Times' Peter Baker.

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Ivanka Trump also addressed U.S. service members at a rally-like speech her father gave in South Korea, did some White House communications work, and performed diplomat-like duties, though, the Post notes, "her unfamiliarity with some elements of diplomacy were on display on this trip." To be fair, Ivanka is probably not the person most out of place in this photo of world leaders at a side meeting on empowering women. Peter Weber

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