President Donald Trump defended his daughter for holding his seat at the G-20 summit this weekend, touting German Chancellor Angela Merkel as unlikely backup in the decision.
"When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat. Very standard. Angela M agrees!" Trump tweeted Monday morning in a string of responses to current administration concerns. He followed that tweet with another, saying, "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!"
Trump’s eldest daughter sat in for him at Saturday session after the president stepped out, causing swift condemnation from some who said Ivanka Trump is not an elected official, therefore cannot stand in for heads of state.
But the White House echoed Trump’s morning tweet and called the reaction overblown over the weekend.
One White House official said Ivanka Trump was in the room, but only joined the table after her father stepped away and the World Bank president moved the conversation to issues that would benefit from the World Bank’s newly announced women’s entrepreneurship initiative.
The same official also said that when other leaders left the room, their seats, too, were briefly filled by others in the delegation.