Ivanka Trump said on Tuesday she was still in the process of defining her role as an informal White House adviser to her father Donald and wanted to use her influence to help empower women.
During a podium discussion in Berlin at a women’s summit organized by the Group of 20 major economies, Trump said she was still defining how she could make an impact and was trying to learn from others in her unusual, unpaid White House advisory role, which gives her access to classified information.
Asked whether she represented the president, the American people or her business, she replied, “Well certainly not the latter, and I am rather unfamiliar with this role as it is quite new to me too, it has been a little under 100 days.
“This is very early for me. I’m listening, I’m learning, I’m defining the ways in which I think that I’ll be able to have impact,” she added. “I’m seeking the counsel … of informed and thoughtful women and men, and I’m really striving to think about how best to empower women in the economy, both domestically and across the globe.”
At the Berlin event, she discussed support for women entrepreneurs with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, among others.
Last month, Trump was pictured sitting next to Merkel during the German leader’s visit to Washington, which was characterized by awkward body language between the president and the chancellor as they tried to play down their differences on issues such as trade.
“The president’s whisperer”
During the Berlin discussion, Donald Trump tweeted that he was “proud” of Ivanka for “her leadership on these important issues.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017
During last year’s presidential election, Trump found himself at the center of a furious controversy when a 2005 video emerged in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitals.
Asked about whether some of the attitudes expressed by her father might beg the question whether he really wanted to empower women, Ivanka said her personal experience, as well as that of thousands of women who had worked with or for President Trump, showed he believed in women’s potential.
“I grew up in a house where there were no barriers to what I could accomplish … there was no difference for me and my brothers and I think as a business leader you saw that and as a president you’ll absolutely see that,” she said.
The first daughter received boos and hisses after she said during the panel discussion that she was “very proud of my father’s advocacy. … He’s been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive.”
Addressing the negative reaction, the moderator asked Trump to further address some of her father’s public remarks about women.
“I certainly heard the criticism from the media, but I know from personal experience, and I think the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man,” said Trump, who German newspaper Berliner Zeitung described as “the president’s whisperer.”
Metro web producer Nikki M. Mascali contributed to this report.