On Friday, President Donald Trump's eldest daughter was taking in the snowboarding action in PyeongChang, South Korea, and social media had some feelings about it ― Twitter reacted to Ivanka Trump at the big air finals with a combination of surprise, mockery, and criticism, in addition to some pretty sharp-elbowed jokes. Trump, who in addition to being the president's daughter is an official presidential adviser, flew to South Korea on Thursday to take in the last few days of the Winter Games.
She's officially leading the U.S. delegation during the closing ceremony on Sunday, an honor that the president insisted she deserved in a tweet on Thursday. Specifically, President Trump said his daughter was "smarter" and "better" than any other American who could have represented the country at the Olympics.
Given her role in the Trump administration, which remains deeply unpopular with a majority of the American public according to polls, and is additionally very unpopular throughout the world, it's not surprising that some people didn't want to see Trump at the big air finals. She reportedly watched with the first lady of South Korea, and was in attendance when Sebastien Toutant netted a gold medal in the big air final.
The event saw a pair of American snowboarders vie for gold, Kyle Mack and Red Gerard. Mack managed to finish in second place with a silver medal, and Gerard did not finish on the platform, although he already won a gold in the slopestyle earlier in the games. And Trump, who's reportedly been joined in South Korea by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was there to watch the whole thing.
This is not the first time the president's daughter has embarked on an official foreign trip. She also joined her father on his trip through the Middle East and Europe last year, although she did not accompany him on his later trip throughout Asia.
Trump, who officially joined the federal government last March, arrived in PyeongChang at a time of considerable political tumult back in the United States, especially regarding the state of gun violence in America. One Twitter user summed up that mood in responding to Trump's presence at the snowboarding final.
"Is the Snowboarding Big Air Men’s Finals a good time to talk to Ivanka Trump about the gun control we need in the US? Because she’s here and so am I," Twitter user @BethyyBooo tweeted on Friday night.
In short, given the political climate back home, it's not surprising that some people who saw her on the TV had a decidedly strong negative reaction. For the record, it is not usual for a president's adult children to operate as an official representative of the country on the world stage, but that's happened more than once since her father took office.
As shown in the tweet above, Trump congratulated American snowboarder Kyle Mack on his silver medal-winning performance, which included the rare and exceptionally challenging "Bloody Dracula" trick. Whatever anyone's opinions of Trump, or her role in her father's administration, or the appropriateness of her representing the country in such a fashion, it can't be denied that she got to watch a pretty exciting snowboarding competition.
She won't be in South Korea much longer, however. The closing ceremony will be taking place on Sunday, Feb. 25, just days from now. It'll be happening live very early on Sunday morning, but if you're eager to see it, you'll probably want to wait until NBC airs it in primetime on Sunday night. It's scheduled to begin at 8:00 .m. ET, which is 5:00 p.m. for anyone watching on the west coast.