President Trump used his favorite megaphone — Twitter — to defend his daughter Ivanka on Monday morning for a breach of diplomatic protocol at the Group of 20 summit this weekend.
Though Trump's oldest daughter has repeatedly said she tries to steer clear of politics, she found herself thrust into a political maelstrom Saturday when she briefly filled in for her father at a table of world leaders when he left the room for other meetings.
A grainy photo of Ivanka, taken by a member of Russia's delegation, showed the president's daughter seated between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a massive table during a G-20 working session on “Partnership With Africa, Migration and Health.”
Her decision to briefly fill in for her father immediately sparked a backlash, ranging from international eyerolls to outright criticism. And on Monday, Trump — who seemed to spend the early morning hours alternately watching and then live-tweeting “Fox & Friends” — also turned to Twitter to defend his daughter.
“When I left Conference Room for short meetings with Japan and other countries, I asked Ivanka to hold seat,” Trump wrote. “Very standard. Angela M agrees!”
He added that if Chelsea Clinton had been a similar situation, instead of outrage, the reaction from the news media would have been calls for Chelsea herself to run for president.
“If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!” Trump wrote.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel — or “Angela M” in Trump parlance — earlier this year hosted Ivanka at a summit focused on women empowerment in Berlin and did defend the president's daughter to reporters.
“Ivanka Trump belonged to the American delegation, so that is in line with what other delegations do,” Merkel said Saturday. “And it is known that she works at the White House and carries responsibility for certain initiatives.’’
Chelsea Clinton also responded to Trump on Twitter, saying that her parents would have never put her in the uncomfortable situation.
"Good morning Mr. President," she wrote. "It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not."