President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter Ivanka attended the W20 Women’s Summit in Germany Tuesday, where she was aggressively met with boos and groans when describing her father as “a tremendous champion of supporting families.”
She defended his attitudes toward women as she made her first international outing as a White House adviser, pledging to push for “incremental, positive change” for women in the U.S. economy.
As the heckling began, Ivanka responded gracefully with a subtle smile.
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Her calm reaction is likely attributed to the fact that, regardless of the audience’s reaction, her first-hand experience proves her father is an advocate for women.
When challenged on her father’s support of women, Ivanka defends him, citing the “thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades, when he was in the private sector, are a testament to his belief and solid conviction and the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.”
She goes even further, describing her upbringing in a household full of brothers.
“I grew up in a house where there was no barriers to what I could accomplish beyond my own perseverance and my own tenacity.”
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And Ivanka isn’t the only women in Trump’s life that has described him as incredibly encouraging to the women he works with.
CBS News talked to 19 women who had worked for the Trump organization, and their responses were overwhelmingly positive.
One former employee of the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, Alexis Poe Feder, said she, “felt very empowered when I worked there.”
Another employee acknowledged his tough attitude, but that it had nothing to do with gender. “I heard him yell and scream, but I never heard him call anyone a bimbo. I never heard him demean anyone,” Joanne Blank told CBS.
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“From the standpoint of being a woman, I just thought he was phenomenal,” Louise Sunshine, who joined Trump’s real estate business in the mid-1970s and worked with him for 15 years told the Washington Post. “So supportive and encouraging… He gave me the ropes and I could either hang myself or prove myself.”
Trump himself has said empowering things about women, writing in his book “The Art of the Deal,” that he hired, “a lot of women for top jobs, they’re among the best people.”
See the uninformed crowd boo at the classy Ivanka as she defends what she knows to be true:
Ivanka’s one-day visit, at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, gave Merkel and other officials face-to-face access with the president’s influential daughter at a time when world leaders are still trying to discern where President Trump’s policies will lead.
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Merkel and Trump were part of a high-powered panel discussion at the W20 Summit, a women-focused effort within the Group of 20 countries, entitled “Inspiring women: Scaling up women’s entrepreneurship.” They were joined by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and the Netherlands’ Queen Maxima, among others.
The 35-year-old Ivanka, who stepped away from both running her fashion brand and from an executive role at the Trump Organization to become an unpaid White House adviser, said she is still finding her feet in her new role.
“I’m listening, I’m learning, I’m defining the ways in which I think that I’ll be able to have impact” in empowering women in the U.S. economy and beyond, she said.
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She says she plans “to bring the advice, to bring the knowledge, back to the United States, back to both my father and the president — and hopefully that will bring about incremental, positive change. And that is my goal.”
Trump has been a vocal advocate for policies benefiting working women and vocational training. During Merkel’s visit to Washington in March, she organized a discussion with the German leader, her father, and American and German executives about how companies can better train workers.
-The Associated Press and the Horn News editorial team contributed to this article.