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'Foreign leaders loved her': Donald Trump defends daughter Ivanka's role as unofficial diplomat

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to Ivanka Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.

DOMINIQUE JACOVIDES/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/TNS

By MICHAEL COLLINS | USA Today | Published: July 6, 2019

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — President Donald Trump defended his daughter Ivanka Trump on Friday amid criticism of her high-profile role in the Group of 20 summit in Japan last week.

"I thought Ivanka was amazing at the G-20," Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn. "The foreign leaders loved her. They think she's great."

Ivanka Trump, who serves as a senior adviser to her father, was a constant presence at his side during last week's three-day trip to Asia, which included the G-20 summit and a visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Unat the Demilitarized Zone.

At the G-20, the first daughter sat alongside her father and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a special event and called for women's economic empowerment to be placed "at the very heart" of the agenda. Later, she also sat in on a meeting between her father and the North Korean leader at the DMZ.

Ivanka Trump's role as unofficial diplomat raised eyebrows and prompted questions about the propriety of the president's daughter taking on such a high profile in international affairs.

Trump, however, praised his daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, who also serves a senior presidential adviser and was part of the presidential entourage in Asia.

"Ivanka and Jared work very hard, and they have sacrificed a lot to be doing this," Trump said. "But they want to do it."

Asked if he is preparing his daughter to run for office, Trump said, "No, I'm not grooming her for office."   

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