President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka received two Chibok schoolgirls at the White House on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.
The White House did not announce the visit by the two Chibok girls to the White House in advance and did not notify the White press corps about it, according to NPR’s White House correspondent Tamara Keith.
The meeting was also not documented on the White House daily schedule and daily briefings. However, it came to the attention of the media when the White House chose the photo taken after the meeting for its “photo of the day” on June 28, and posted it to the official White House website and Twitter page on Wednesday, June 28, a day after the meeting, according to Sahara Reporters.
The photo shows the two Nigerian Chibok girls, Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu, who were abducted from their school, Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, North Western Nigeria, on the night of April 14-15, 2014.
The two girls appear in the group photo with President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. Doug Wead, president of the U.S. school from which the girls graduated recently, and his wife Myriam, stand at the far left of the photo while two of their daughters stand at the far right.
Wead, who is the president of Canyonville Christian Academy, a Christian boarding school in Canyonville, Oregon, that the Chibok girls attended and recently graduated from, was a former assistant to President George H.W. Bush and is the author of the book, Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s Winning Strategy.
Wead revealed in an interview with NPR that Ivanka contacted him via email after he appeared on a BBC program. Recalling that Ivanka has shown support for the campaign against global human trafficking, Doug asked her if he wanted to meet the Chibok girls, and she said “yes.”
According to Wead, the two Chibok girls had a private 10-minute meeting with President Trump, during which they talked about issues that concerned them. However, Wead declined to divulge the details of the discussion.
After the meeting, the Chibok girls toured the White House. Bishara also said that Ivanka hugged her, and President Trump said to them, “God bless you, too.”
“I enjoyed [the visit], it was wonderful,” Bishara said. “Her [Ivanka’s] work is a really good one, at least she’s helping people around the world who have been hurt.”
Pogu and Bishara were one of 276 schoolgirls that Boko Haram militants abducted from their school in Chibok on the night of April 14-15, 2014. The girls reportedly escaped from their captors by jumping off the back of the truck as the militants transported them into the forest.
Media reports about the incident drew global attention, sparking the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls which received support from former first lady Michelle Obama.
With help from the Jubilee Campaign, a human rights NGO based in Fairfax, Virginia, Pogu and Bishara attended Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia, in 2014, and later transferred to Canyonville Christian Academy after the school granted them a full scholarship.
The girls hope to attend Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, this fall, on a full scholarship.
[Featured Image by The White House]