Since his election, President Donald Trump has been sharply criticized for his lack of experience and his questionable decisions. In particular, the president has been accused of nepotism for appointing his children, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, to top advisory positions. Many have questioned the first daughter’s involvement in government affairs, including her attendance at international events. And now, reports suggest that even White House officials are fed up with Ivanka’s political role.
CNN reported today, February 27th, that the first daughter’s trip to South Korea for the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics increased tensions between her and White House staff. One unnamed source told the news network that Chief of Staff John Kelly was particularly unhappy that, during her trip, Ivanka discussed North Korean sanctions during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Kelly reportedly did not think the first daughter was qualified for the visit and described Ivanka as “playing government.”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the reported conflict in a statement to CNN.
President Donald Trump tweeted on February 23rd that the United States “could not have a better, or smarter, person” leading its Olympic delegation.
Ivanka has recently been criticized for saying in a February 26th interview with NBC that her father’s proposal to arm teachers is “not a bad idea.” And in the same interview, she claimed that asking her about the sexual assault allegations against Trump was “inappropriate,” a statement that many said proved the president’s daughter should not be acting as his adviser.
Kelly is right to be concerned about Ivanka’s position. The president’s daughter has no political experience or qualifications other than, well, being the president’s daughter. But she carries the official title of “special assistant to the president” and continues to meet with foreign officials like Moon. We don’t doubt that Ivanka is an intelligent person, but that’s not the point. Trump should be sending a qualified official to meet with foreign leaders, not his daughter.