Foreign governments seeking to find favor with President Donald Trump are forgoing diplomatic channels and reaching out to his most trusted adviser, his daughter, using invitations to galas and social events to get on her good side.
According to the Washington Post, first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner — both political neophytes working in the White House — have become desirable targets for embassy functions as a way to influence the President.
“She’s, like, preapproved,” admitted Hynek Kmoníček, the Czech ambassador to the United States. “We would like her to know that we are the country where she might find a surprising number of people who will treat her very, very nice.”
Kmoníček added, “I hope I will be able to put a selfie on the Twitter.”
Pulled from the New York City social scene, the couple has jumped into the Washington DC’s diplomatic circle where they are coveted not only for their social cachet, but because they have the president’s ear.
“She’s being seen as a goodwill ambassador slash adviser, slash soft-power effort for an administration that has had a lot of challenges in those areas,” explained a senior diplomat representing a Latin American country. “By all accounts, she seems to be everything that her father is not: likable, soft-spoken, and she’s not impulsive, she seems to be thinking through everything that she does.”
With First Lady Melania Trump often on the sidelines, the president has substituted for her by using his daughter as a hostess at White House events where she meets and greets foreign leaders — often to her financial advantage, recently being awarded valuable trademark approval in China after a state dinner.
Earlier in the year, Ivanka brought along her children for a visit to the Chinese Embassy for their Lunar New Year celebration, at a time when the President was still formulating his thoughts on that “one-China” policy.
As the Post notes, “Doors opened, cameras flashed, Trump smiled as she was greeted warmly by embassy personnel. The next day on Ivanka Trump’s Instagram page, 5-year old Arabella made an appearance singing sweetly as she played with a puppet dragon.”
Days later, President Trump promised to honor the “one-China” policy.
According to Carl Anthony, a historian with the National First Ladies Library, foreign governments reaching out to the first daughter is a paying off.
“Ivanka’s role is ineffable,” said Anthony. “It’s knowing her father’s chemistry, it’s knowing how to approach him and when to approach him. It’s choosing her battles carefully and knowing how to frame her, perhaps, disagreement on something.”