‘Painful to watch’: The French government released a video of Ivanka Trump having an awkward chat with world leaders

President Donald Trump with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump at the G20 summit during an event on women's empowerment.

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President Donald Trump with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump at the G20 summit during an event on women’s empowerment.
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KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters

  • The White House adviser Ivanka Trump attended the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, over the weekend.
  • A video released by the French government shows her engaging in an awkward conversation with world leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the International Monetary Fund’s chairwoman, Christine Lagarde.
  • Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Lieu took the video as a chance to challenge the role of President Donald Trump’s daughter in the US government.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.

The French government released a video of the White House adviser Ivanka Trump having a stilted conversation with world leaders at the 2019 G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, and it quickly went viral.

Some say the video exemplifies why President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter shouldn’t be used as a diplomat at one of the most important meetings in international politics.

The video was posted to Twitter by the BBC journalist Parham Ghobadi.

The video is short, and the audio isn’t entirely clear, but it does depict Ivanka Trump in a circle with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and the International Monetary Fund’s chairwoman, Christine Lagarde.

The leaders appear to be talking about women’s rights or female representation, which Trump talked about earlier at the G20. Macron can be heard saying something about “social justice” before Trump interrupts him. Then May says, “As soon as you talk about the economic aspect of it, though, a lot of people start listening who wouldn’t otherwise listen.”

“And it’s the same with the defense side,” Trump adds. “In terms of the whole ecosystem, it’s been very male-dominated.”

Read more: Ivanka Trump tweeted about visiting The Hague, and Twitter lit up with jokes and memes about her going to prison

The leaders’ body language and eye contact are shifted away from Trump during the discussion. She attempts a few comments and nods and smiles in an eager fashion.

Some took the video as a chance to interrogate Trump’s role in the US government. Democratic members of Congress including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rep. Ted Lieu of California questioned why Trump, whose father appointed her as a White House adviser, was at the G20 summit.

Trump’s role in the US government, along with that of her husband, Jared Kushner, has been controversial throughout the Trump presidency. The two have security clearances and access to highly sensitive intelligence despite senior staffers’ advice to the contrary, which included concerns over Kushner’s close relationships with foreign governments.

Ivanka Trump has said she and Kushner did not receive any preferential treatment while securing the clearances.

Her business has also received scrutiny while she’s been in the White House, as it has continued to receive international trademarks despite her announcement that she would shutter it while in Washington.

Ivanka Trump attended the G20 summit in Osaka partly to speak at an event on women’s empowerment. There, she called upon world leaders to do more to strengthen women’s economic freedom.

“If we propose bold solutions and challenge the limits of the past, we’ll empower women to lift their families out of poverty, to grow the economies in their countries, and to deliver greater peace and prosperity to millions around the world,” Trump said.

But as Business Insider’s Ellen Cranley reported, the speech was contradictory to part of her father’s track record. The Trump administration, for example, supports cutting aid “to any foreign-based organization that performs, promotes or offers information on abortion.”