How Ivanka and Eric Trump conquered the world – and rescued Christmas


Grin and bear it … Ivanka Trump at a White House summit on child care and paid family leave in December 2019. PHOTO/Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

It is easy to poke fun at the ‘achievements’ of Nepotism Barbie and her brother, but the Trumps are having the last laugh

Ivanka Trump has ended 2019 in the most Ivanka way possible: conducting a pretend interview with a friendly journalist at a conference that she was not fit to attend.

Over the weekend, the first daughter rounded off a year of tirelessly promoting herself with an appearance at the Doha Forum, which is one of those Davos-like conferences where the rich and powerful get together to hobnob and release huge amounts of hot air into the atmosphere. All in the name of solving the world’s most complex problems, of course.

As usual, Ivanka was one of the least qualified people in the room – but also one of the most shameless. While government officials such as Turkey’s foreign minister and Rwanda’s president fielded hard-hitting questions from journalists, Ivanka was interviewed by Morgan Ortagus, a US state department spokeswoman and former Fox News contributor. In other words, Ivanka basically sat down for an interview with her own PR person.

As you can imagine, the questions were brutal. Ortagus delivered sycophantic prompts such as: “You were able to put women’s prosperity into the national security strategy. That was so important to me that you did that and I’d love for you to explain that.” Obligingly, Ivanka waxed lyrical about how wonderful she is, while Ortagus oohed and aahed.

Ivanka’s extraordinarily softball interview raised some eyebrows. “Even Vladimir Putin doesn’t get interviewed by [the Kremlin press secretary] Dmitri Peskov,” complained one Russian journalist. Poor Ivanka was immediately dismissed as “Nepotism Barbie” by the Twitterati, which was rather below the belt; Barbie’s daddy never gave her a high-ranking job in the government.

But that is enough snark. Whatever you think of Ivanka, she has achieved an astonishing amount this year. As her father announced recently to the Economic Club of New York, she single-handedly “created 14m jobs” – which is truly remarkable when you consider that the entire US economy has added only 6m jobs under Trump.

Of course, Ivanka has done more than anyone to empower women. In February, she launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative to help 50 million female entrepreneurs globally. This would be great, were it not for the fact that her daddy’s government has made enormous cuts to foreign aid and reinstated the “global gag rule” that means international NGOs are barred from US government health funding if they perform or promote abortions. As Oxfam has noted, Ivanka’s initiatives “won’t even come close to making up for the damage done” by the Trump administration.

The Guardian for more

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