After skipping the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos last year due to a domestic issue – the partial, but lengthy government shutdown, President Donald Trump is poised to attend the iconic event in the Swiss Alps, in the company of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner – the latter two in their roles as advisors to the president.
The pick of the US delegation to the five-day event hardly struck a responsive chord with citizens.
“What bullshit. These relentless nest-featherers and scam artists must be stopped", one wrote, while another pressed forward with laugh-inducing nicknames for Ivanka like “complicit Barbie” and “Sparkle Pony".
I'm really tired of that Sparkle Pony having anything to do with representing me at events around the world. I never voted for her and Congress never held any confirmation hearings. Piss on that #ComplicitBarbiehttps://t.co/oM8ceuQl5L— Louie G 🇩🇪🇲🇽🇺🇲 (@LouGarza86) January 15, 2020
“He has to make sure Ivanka is getting top dollar for lap dances in Davos, after all", another added with a not so subtle hint of irony.
Costs shouldered by taxpayers and Ivanka’s previous business ventures couldn’t escape the debate either:
With Jared, Ivanka, Ross and Mnuchin. Costing taxpayers MILLIONS.— BevMarie (@evenbev) January 14, 2020
Trump will head to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting next week amid a looming Senate impeachment trial and concerns over his handling of relations with Iran https://t.co/w6dZsz3I4t via @bpolitics
impeached trump taking unneeded ivanka to davos. she should stay home and play with her chinese trade marks— ninjainu (@ninjainu) January 8, 2020
The uproar and disdain, which was also there earlier this month as Ivanka delivered a keynote speech at a high-profile tech event CES, were particularly evident in capitalised tweets, some of them sporting rhetorical questions about Javanka – a name specifically coined to refer to both Ivanka and Jared:
Donald Trump will go to Davos and he'll bring along four Cabinet secretaries PLUS Jared and Ivanka https://t.co/uvOgNlI1PD— Jude Green (@judemgreen) January 14, 2020
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Eugene Scalia, the secretary of labour, and Elaine Chao, the secretary of transportation will also be attending on behalf of the US government, with the former expected to meet French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire vis-à-vis the taxation of digital firms.
The meeting is hoped to de-escalate their two-way economic tensions after the US threatened to boost tariffs against French products due to Paris having introduced a 3% tax on digital titans.
The gathering will take place from 21-24 January, against the backdrop of overwhelming uncertainty in US-Iran relations, after Trump ordered US forces to launch a deadly attack on Iran's top general Qasem Soleimani earlier this month following an Iran-backed raid on the US Embassy in Iraq.
Iran's Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has since cancelled his participation in the Swiss Alps event, with WEF chief Borge Brende pondering the issue at a news conference on Tuesday: "We have to understand the cancellation from Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif against the backdrop of uncertainty in the region and what is unfolding in Iran", he noted.
Trump himself is meanwhile at the centre of an impeachment debate, with the Senate scheduled to rule on his potential departure from the Oval Office, weeks after the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president over alleged abuse of power.