Ivanka Trump Leads White House Meeting Without the President

Elise Solé
Ivanka Trump speaks during a meeting on human trafficking with congressional leaders. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

Ivanka Trump revved up her White House role by leading a meeting in her father’s absence.

While President Trump delivered a commencement address to graduates at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., on Wednesday, Ivanka led Congress in a bipartisan roundtable discussion about global human trafficking in the Roosevelt Room.

“We have been conducting interagency meetings to understand the scope of the issue [of human trafficking], as well as gathering recommendations from the academic, public, and private sector,” said Ivanka, according to CNN. “Today, we bring an additional and critical group to the table, legislative leaders, to discuss concrete steps through legislation.”

Ivanka reportedly spoke for two minutes and said in part that combating human trafficking was “a moral and strategic interest domestically and abroad.”

The meeting was another indication of the first daughter’s influence in government. As an unpaid “adviser” to the president, Ivanka has sat in on meetings with world leaders and represented the U.S. at the W20 summit in Germany, which focused on gender equality. Ivanka was also rumored to have influenced her father’s decision to launch a missile strike in Syria in April and his stance on issues such as family leave. In March she admitted that her role was “unprecedented.”

On Wednesday Ivanka came under fire for her ties to a Chinese factory that produces her namesake merchandise. According to Bloomberg, a letter the nonprofit group China Labor Watch sent Ivanka reports it found that factory employees are forced to work more than 12 hours per day, six days a week, for little pay. Although the letter didn’t provide evidence for the claims, Ivanka was the subject of criticism on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the president was more vocal about any backlash toward the first family, telling U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates, “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history … has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

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