Since her father took office in January, first daughter Ivanka Trump has made a habit of “dropping by” high profile meetings involving President Trump and other senior officials, as well as media appearances, a report from CNN has detailed.
The most recent example of Ivanka’s ‘drop-by’ was on Wednesday evening, during a meeting between Trump and Congressional leaders from both sides of the house, where she “entered the Oval Office to ‘say hello’ and the meeting careened off-topic.”
The report claims that Republican leaders, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were “visibly annoyed by Ivanka’s presence,” although Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong later refuted that claim.
Meanwhile, a Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, claimed that Ivanka’s presence was so she could discuss child tax credits.
“We asked Ivanka to briefly join the meeting for an update on the child care tax credit and how we are working to make tax reform a bipartisan issue,” he said. “It was a quick and productive conversation.”
Other examples of Ivanka’s ‘drop bys’ have been during her father’s media interviews, including one with The New York Times in July where she and her daughter Arabella Kushner “popped in to say hello” as her father answered a question relating to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on investigations into Russian interference.
The incident allegedly threw the meeting off course, as Trump paid attention to his granddaughter, asking her to speak in Mandarin and praising her “good, smart genes.”
She reportedly did a similar thing whilst her father was talking to Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, where she said she “wanted to come by and say ‘hi'”, before the two began a friendly discussion.
Ivanka also made an appearance at her father’s speech on tax reform in North Dakota on Wednesday, with Trump confirming that she had asked to come with him.
“‘Daddy, Can I come with you?'” Trump said his daughter asked him. “I said, ‘yes you can.’ ”
It is not clear whether the Ivanka’s ‘drop-bys’ are instigated by her in order to help push her own agenda, or choreographed by Trump himself in order to help close deals with his associates or soften his image towards reporters.
However, Ivanka has previously described how she would “hide in a janitor’s closet during recess” to ring her father during important meetings, where he would describe what a great daughter she was.
“It was colleagues, it was titans of industry, it was heads of countries. He’d always tell everyone in the room how great a daughter I was and say cute things and ask me about a test I took,” she told CNN’s Gloria Borger last year.
In the White House, Ivanka serves as a close advisor to her father, alongside her husband Jared Kushner, who also serves as a senior advisor. The pair are widely regarded to be keen to pull the president to the left on key issues such as immigration and climate change. According to a report from The New York Times, the pair also supports extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, something which the administration recently pledged to end.