Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not sending a high-level delegation to support first daughter Ivanka Trump on her trip to Hyderabad, India between November 28-30 for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).
The news of Tillerson’s decision to withhold high-level support for Ivanka arrives in the midst of increased tension between Tillerson and the White House. CNN first reported this news.
“They (Tillerson and his staff) won’t send someone senior because they don’t want to bolster Ivanka,” an unnamed senior State Department official told CNN. “It’s now another rift between the White House and State at a time when Rex Tillerson doesn’t need any more problems with the President.”
The source reportedly added, “No one higher than the deputy assistant secretary is allowed to participate” and noted that “Rex doesn’t like the fact that he’s supposed to be our nation’s top diplomat, and Jared and now Ivanka have stepped all over Rex Tillerson for a long time. So now, he’s not sending senior people from the State Department to support this issue. He’s not supporting Ivanka Trump.”
Acting Assistant Secretary for the central Asia region, Alice Wells, was reportedly also pulled off of the trip by Tillerson’s team. Former Secretary of State John Kerry and former President Obama have attended the summit. The summit has taken place in California, Kenya, and Malaysia in the past.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited President Donald Trump to the event, which is themed around supporting female entrepreneurs this year, during his visit to the White House in June. The summit’s slogan this year is “Women First, Prosperity for All.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert reportedly told CNN, “The Department is committed to supporting women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, and the Summit is a prime opportunity to showcase the importance of these themes.”
Ivanka is reportedly being billed as the “star attraction” of the summit in the Indian press. This will be her first visit to the subcontinent.
Ahead of her highly-anticipated visit, Indian media reported that police in Hyderabad arrested thousands of “beggars” and placing them in rehab centers (also referred to as ashrams) to shield Ivanka from the uncomfortable sight and to put their best foot forward for the trip. However, Indian authorities have denied that the crackdown on the capital city’s destitute has anything to do with Ivanka’s upcoming visit.