An official from President Emmanuel Macron’s office has told the European outlet Politico that the French leadership didn’t mean to embarrass POTUS’s daughter and top White House adviser Ivanka Trump, indicating they were caught off-guard by the reaction over their G20 behind-the-scenes video.
“We didn’t anticipate the reaction, and once again, we are not responsible for the use made of the clip”, the statement said.
Although it admitted that the post was made amid “a larger narrative in the US about Ivanka’s diplomatic role and that goes beyond us, of course”, the French officials did not mean to fuel this.
According to the statement, the French presidential palace often releases videos of sideline moments from international gatherings. The official told the outlet that it “took place in the leaders’ lounge right before the sessions on gender equality of which Ivanka was one of the keynote speakers, so it wasn’t anything more than a moment of exchange like there were 100 more [of] with other leaders”.
The now viral video, released by the Elysee Palace against the backdrop of debates over Ivanka Trump’s travelling to the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan with her father, featured her desperate attempt to join a chat between the UK’s outgoing premier Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, and IMF head Christine Lagarde.
While the four can be seen actively taking part in a lively discussion during a break, they seem to disregard Trump’s attempts to butt in. After May is heard saying "as soon as you charge them with that economic aspect of it, a lot of people start listening who otherwise wouldn't listen", the US presidential daughter makes a remark about "defence side of it”. Lagarde was caught flashing such a glance that it couldn’t go unnoticed online, causing genuine ridicule from the public.
Critics tore into Donald Trump and his daughter/aide, trashing his staff policy and diplomatic efforts. One of the loudest voices was US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, noting that being somebody’s daughter “actually isn’t a career qualification”.
“The US needs our President working the G20. Bringing a qualified diplomat couldn’t hurt either”, the freshman congresswoman tweeted.
This rant prompted debates on Ocasio-Cortez’s own background, which involved British TV star Piers Morgan and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Morgan challenged AOC on Twitter over her being fit for the job, noting that she jumped to the US congresswoman’s chair from behind the bar.
For her part, Sanders accused Ocasio-Cortez of destroying jobs in New York, in a nod to her pushback on the e-commerce and entertainment giant Amazon’s plans to build part of its headquarters there over claims that the company’s public input was insufficient and the deal was too secretive.