US President Donald Trump occasionally likes to take his clan on his world travels — like that time he brought all of his children (except Barron) and their spouses to visit the British queen. Now Americans, who are footing the bills, are wondering on Twitter what in the world Ivanka Trump is doing on a two-day trip to India — besides tagging along with dad and posing for photos.
It was Donald Trump’s first state visit to India, where he told about 100,000 people at a rally Monday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about a $3 billion arms deal with the nation and a developing trade agreement.
The president’s daughter, appointed by her father to be a White House senior adviser despite having no political experience, mostly champions women’s rights and child care — though she has insisted that separated immigrant families and their locked-up children are “not part of my portfolio.”
On Monday she posed in front of the Taj Mahal after traveling to India with her dad and first lady Melania Trump — and husband Jared Kushner, also appointed a White House senior adviser by his father-in-law.
The first daughter was criticised just last week by Walter Shaub, the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, for what he characterized as a taxpayer-funded “corporate” junket to Dubai on what happened to be the third anniversary of the Trump International Golf Club Dubai.
India is home to the most Trump-branded real estate ventures outside of North America — including four luxury high-rises and an office tower, notes The Washington Post. Unlike other US presidents, Trump — and his family — did not divest from his businesses when he moved into the White House.
One of Trump’s business partners in India is facing a financial crunch, while another has been accused of massive fraud. Both are closely linked to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, headed by Modi. A first family visit could boost their bottom line.
But what U.S. national interests are being served by Ivanka Trump’s visit confused many. After the first daughter declared the Taj Mahal “awe inspiring” in a tweet — and Instagram with Jared — scads of people responded: “What are you doing there?”
Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House deputy chief of staff for operations in the Obama administration, cracked: “Why am I paying for their 2nd honeymoon omfg.”