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Ivanka Trump Grilled, Booed During Women20 Summit in Berlin

At the Women20 summit, President Trump's daughter was asked to clarify her White House role and how it was compatible with her fashion business.
Image: Ivanka Trump, Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel
Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump daughter and adviser, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, from left, at a panel at the W20 Summit in Berlin on Tuesday.Markus Schreiber / AP

BERLIN — Ivanka Trump met with booing and hissing from some conference delegates Tuesday after she mentioned her father's name during her first international trip as presidential adviser.

At a panel discussion at the Women20 summit in Berlin, she said President Donald Trump had encouraged "thousands" of women who worked for him.

Ivanka Trump, who resigned from any active management role in her businesses to take up the unpaid adviser role, was asked to defend his treatment of working women and families.

After a handful of attendees booed and groaned when she mentioned his name, she said: "As a daughter, I can speak on a very personal level knowing that he encouraged and enabled me to thrive. I don't take that lightly as a parent now myself. And there was no difference for me and my brothers."

When she said she was "very, very proud" of her father's advocacy for paid leave for families, there was an audible reaction from the audience.

Meckel interrupted: "You hear the reaction from the audience so I need you address one more point ... some attitudes towards women your father has publicly displayed in former times might leave one questioning whether he's such an empowerer for women. How do you relate to that? Are things changing?"

The first daughter replied that she "certainly heard the criticism from the media."

She said she knew "from personal experience that the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction of the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man."

Ivanka Trump was also asked to clarify her White House role and how it was compatible with her fashion business.

Image: Ivanka Trump Attends W20 Conference In Berlin
Ivanka Trump, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, moderator Miriam Meckel and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands attend the W20 conference in Germany on Monday.Sean Gallup / Getty Images

"You're the first daughter of the United States and you're also assistant to the U.S. president," said panel moderator Miriam Meckel. "The German audience is not that familiar with the concept of a first daughter. What is your role, and who are you representing? Your father as the president of the United States, the American people, or your business?"

"Well certainly not the latter," Trump replied.

"And I am rather unfamiliar with this role as well as it's quite new to me," she continued. "It has been a little under 100 days and it has just been a remarkable and incredible journey."

She added: "You know, as an entrepreneur and an individual prior to this in the private sector I care very much about empowering women in the workplace."

Also on the panel were German leader Angela Merkel, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. Moderator Meckel is a prominent journalist and professor.

Many commentators see Trump's visit as an opportunity for Merkel to open a channel into the White House after last month's visit to Washington ended in embarrassment when the president appeared to decline a handshake with the German leader.

The first daughter, who was invited by Merkel, arrived after co-writing an article in the Financial Times newspaper on the importance of the economic empowerment of women.

Ivanka Trump graduated cum laude from her father's alma mater, the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. After a brief modeling career, she went into the family business — the Trump Organization. While she has stepped back from her eponymous fashion brand to work at the White House, she remains the owner.