In his first visit with a foreign leader since becoming president-elect, Donald Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday at Trump Tower in New York City. Other than reports of a smooth visit, nothing appeared particularly noteworthy to the mainstream media, who were banned from actually attending the meeting because of Trump’s post-election media blackout, until a picture was released Friday showing Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, sitting across from her father and Abe.
Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, also attended the 90-minute meeting.
Ivanka Trump sat in on her father's meeting today with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, per handout photo pic.twitter.com/tEbfYYeJFA
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) November 18, 2016
After the meeting, the Japanese PM was gracious, telling reporters, “I am very honored to see the President-elect ahead of other world leaders. The Japan-U.S. alliance is the axis of Japan’s diplomacy and security. The alliance become alive only when there is trust between us. I would like to build such a trust with Mr Trump.”
However, once the media noticed the fact that Trump’s family, who are officially a part of the transition team mind you, were also in attendance, righteous indignation ensued.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto, professor of International Relations at the University of Niigata Prefecture, told Agence France-Presse, “It’s quite unusual to see a family member attending the first encounter between two leaders even if it’s informal. It indicates that she would be playing some important role in the Trump administration. But it’s no surprise to see her there as she has already been involved in politics. Anyway, that’s the Trump way.”
US commentators and media types were far more unforgiving.
there is literally zero reason for Ivanka Trump to be sitting in on meetings with heads of state other than her own personal benefit
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) November 18, 2016
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) November 18, 2016
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 18, 2016
Ivanka Trump, responsible for running Trump businesses, sits in on meeting with a foreign power. Conflict of interest is an understatement. https://t.co/XcpETIXydY
— Matt Ortega (@MattOrtega) November 18, 2016
Why Ivanka Trump sitting in on that meeting with Japan's PM is a big no-no: It's mixing business with diplomacy https://t.co/AEpvFsUgKW
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) November 18, 2016
If the kids are controlling the business, why are Ivanka and her husband at a meeting with the Japanese PM? video: https://t.co/Vzz83dp6Op
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) November 18, 2016
Take your daughter to work! (Meeting with PM of Japan Edition). Why did Ivanka sit in on this meeting? https://t.co/IvOPAqr1h4
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) November 18, 2016
Is there truly cause for concern or is this just another display of blatant hypocrisy? After all, how much have these same journalists reported on very real issues with Chelsea Clinton?
Chelsea gets sent classified docs: meh
Sid Blumenthal fed SecState intel around CIA: meh
Ivanka sits in at meeting: AFFRONT TO DEMOCRACY!
— Razor (@hale_razor) November 19, 2016
Calm down, folks. This doesn’t appear like it’ll be a regular thing.
Source close to Trump family told me that Ivanka was there last night because the meeting was informal & "would not be a regular occurrence"
— Emily Jane Fox (@emilyjanefox) November 18, 2016
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