Next month, President Trump will make his first presidential visit to the United Kingdom. He will reportedly be joined by first lady Melania Trump, but details about the rest of his entourage has not yet been released. Whether or not Ivanka Trump is going to the U.K., for example, is not so clear. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment.
Since her father assumed office in 2017, Ivanka has partaken in several foreign state visits — sometimes alone, and sometimes with the president. But despite her occasional participation, her presence hasn't always been a guarantee.
When Trump visited Singapore earlier in June, for example, he did so without the company of his eldest daughter. In lieu of attending the summit, wherein her father met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Ivanka stayed in Washington.
Ivanka formally works as an advisor to her father which means that, though it is at times controversial, she sometimes participates in high profile administration-related events, like meeting with foreign dignitaries. Occasionally, she also fills in for her father. Such was the case last summer, When Ivanka sat in for Trump at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. It was an unusual move, given that it is more typical for other government officials to fill a president's spot when he is unable to personally be present at international summits.
Rep. Maxine Waters decried the decision at the time. “It does not make good sense," she told MSNBC, according to The Guardian. "Here you have the president of the United States at the G-20, representing us as the leader of the free world, and so he’s going to play politics and give his daughter a chance to have a place in the sun and to be seen at a very important meeting that she knows nothing about."
But despite the criticism, Ivanka has continued to make formal trips abroad. Later in 2017, she visited India, where she led the United States delegation to the eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit. That trip, too, was not without controversy. According to The New York Times, Ivanka's wardrobe came under fire from critics. Particularly, the first daughter faced accusation of cultural appropriation for wearing styles deemed reminiscent of various aspects of Indian culture. Her supporters defended her, arguing that she was engaging in "fashion diplomacy."
Early in 2018, Ivanka partook in another high-profile event abroad. In February, Ivanka was chosen to lead the U.S. delegation to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games closing ceremony. As CNN reports, the move was controversial both in the White House and outside of it. At the time, tensions between the United States and North Korea were extremely high, and this was exacerbated by North Korea's historic participation in Olympic competitions.
After the trip, the White House said they believed it was a success. "General Kelly and General McMaster were supportive of the trip since the planning process began," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN. "We all thought it was a great success. Ivanka was a great representative for the administration."
But Ivanka engaging in diplomatic visits is certainly not new. She's been traveling either with or on the behalf of the president since the early days of the administration. She participated in Trump's first major international trip, a tour of the Middle East. In some ways, the trip cemented the role that Ivanka and other Trump family members would play during the Trump presidency. As The New York Times reported, it had historically been unusual for presidents to travel with family members other than the ones they are married to.
But that, of course, has now become a consistent characterization of the Trump White House. Though it was unclear at first, Ivanka has become a regular fixture at presidential meetings and events — and that includes on trips abroad, and perhaps even to the U.K. in July.