“It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me.”
President Trump’s reliance on close family members in his administration looks rather bizarre in a democracy. It’s a practice commonly used by mafia dons and authoritarian dictators because family members are usually more loyal to the person in power. The problem is that, before his 2016 campaign, Trump’s children had very little experience in international affairs or domestic politics.
On Saturday, the president drew raised eyebrows after his daughter, Ivanka Trump, took his seat at the G20 Summit alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat. Very standard. Angela M agrees!” President Trump tweeted.
Contrary to Trump’s tweet, it’s not standard protocol to have a family member assume a leader’s seat at a summit while they are temporarily away. “This is a group of the 20 most powerful leaders in the world in the 20 most powerful countries in the world,” Former NATO ambassador Nicholas Burns told The Washington Post. Burns also said that during his experience at summits, the secretary of state would take the president’s seat at the table. “Authority is not conferred upon family members because of the president’s position,” Burns added.
Trump responded to critics by saying he was being held to a double standard.
If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother,as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017\n
Chelsea Clinton didn’t take Trump’s implication about her mother lightly. She stood up to the president with a firm, but dignified, response.
Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not. https://t.co/4ODjWZUp0c— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) July 10, 2017\n
In her tweet, Clinton implied that Trump was already giving our country away by handing his unqualified daughter a seat at the table with the most powerful people in the world. But if one lets Trump’s hypothetical play out, Chelsea Clinton would be a much better choice to hold his seat at the summit than his daughter. Clinton has a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Oxford. Ivanka Trump has a bachelor’s degree in economics.
We would all do well to enroll in Chelsea Clinton's cheerful shade academy. Cheerful shade is the best of the shades. https://t.co/Ubf6ukZ8hH— Taffy Akner (@taffyakner) July 10, 2017\n
Chelsea Clinton would have never sat in for her mother because the GOP would have impeached Hillary the minute she gave Chelsea a job.— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) July 10, 2017\n
For context: Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump used to be quite good friends. Trump is now using her as cover for his own breach of protocol. https://t.co/R4clvkw3Bu— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 10, 2017\n