President Donald Trump at the G20 Summit

Photo via whitehouse/Flickr Screengrab via David Frum/Twitter Remix by Samantha Grasso

Ivanka Trump takes her father’s seat at the G20 Summit, drives the internet wild

The internet couldn't handle it.


Samantha Grasso

Layer 8

Posted on Jul 8, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 12:34 am CDT

Donald Trump‘s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump took her father’s seat at the G20 economic summit at least twice Saturday, and the internet is not having it.

According to Bloomberg, an official watching the session said Ivanka Trump took her father’s seat at the Hamburg summit on two occasions but didn’t speak. A spokesman for Ivanka Trump said she had been sitting in the back of the room and only “briefly” joined the main table when the president stepped out.

The meeting she sat in on was about African migration and health and featured the president of the World Bank. This isn’t typically seen as unusual behavior by G20 leaders—they’re allowed to bring staff into the room for meetings and have staff fill in for them when they step out for meetings.

However, the Washington Post reports that government ministers typically stand in the heads of state, making the optics of the president’s daughter’s presence quite peculiar.

Quickly, the internet took notice of Trump’s seat swap after Svetlana Lukash, the Russian G20 sherpa, tweeted out the photo seen above of Trump sitting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“And replaces Pres Trump at the #G20 table as he leaves for bilateral meetings,” Lukash had tweeted around 5:39am ET.

Lukash deleted the tweet less than four hours later. However, the damage had already been done, with the internet making succession and election jokes.

“Kid” jokes, most obviously.

And least surprisingly, “princess” puns.

Critics also took issue with Ivanka Trump’s perceived flip-flop after saying last month that she leaves politics to others.

This wasn’t Ivanka Trump’s first foray into high level meetings during the summit, the Post reported. On Thursday, Trump and her husband and fellow presidential adviser Jared Kushner joined the president at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then Saturday, Ivanka Trump and the president participated in a World Bank session on women’s entrepreneurship.

Making sure women have a seat at the table might be on brand for Ivanka Trump and her message of women’s empowerment. However, it appears the internet picks up an entirely different message when the seat belongs to her.

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*First Published: Jul 8, 2017, 9:30 am CDT