petite pardon
July 2, 2019

A short video released by France's presidential palace of Ivanka Trump awkwardly interacting with world leaders at the G-20 summit had a certain je ne sais quoi that made it go viral over the weekend, and France insists it had no intention of humiliating the U.S. president's daughter. "We didn't anticipate the reaction, and once again, we are not responsible for the use made of the clip," an official with the Élysée said in a statement.

The video, in which IMF chief Christine Lagarde appears mystified at Trump's interjection to a comment by British Prime Minister Theresa May, encapsulated for many the high profile, enigmatic, and arguably inappropriate role Trump played during President Trump's trip to the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, and to South and North Korea. There were substantive critiques about nepotism and the dangers of diplomatic amateurism, and there was some snark, as in the #UnwantedIvanka photos on Twitter in which Ivanka Trump is photoshopped into all sorts of famous events, real and fictional. Chris Hayes covered both on MSNBC Monday night.

The French government often releases short clips from summits, and this one "took place in the leaders' lounge right before the sessions on gender equality of which Ivanka was one of the keynote speakers," the Élysée official said, and it wasn't anything special except that it dropped into "a larger narrative in the U.S. about Ivanka's diplomatic role and that goes beyond us, of course."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "invited Ivanka to speak at the G-20," Jessica Ditto, White House deputy communications director, told Politico. "Ivanka is the White House's leading representative on issues of women's empowerment, which was a primary theme of this year's summit in Osaka." Peter Weber

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