The attendees at the Munich Security Conference had a good cheer as Angela Merkel slammed Donald Trump’s claim that German cars could be a threat to American national security.
Ivanka Trump did not.
The president’s daughter was part of a bipartisan coalition that traveled to Munich for the annual conference of world leaders, and video posted to Twitter captured her stonefaced reaction to Merkel’s slam of her father. In her statements, the German chancellor explained that the world’s largest BMW factor was actually in South Carolina, so she could not explain the trade rhetoric from Donald Trump claiming that the cars would be a national security threat.
“If these cars… suddenly spell a threat to US national security, than that is frightening to us,” Merkel said (via Channel News Asia).
Trump’s Department of Commerce had reportedly concluded that auto imports from German posed a threat to national security, a declaration that laid the groundwork for potential tariffs from the White House. The full report is expected to be delivered by the White House, and is seen as a potential risk for foreign automakers, the report from Channel News Asia noted.
Ivanka Trump had been criticized for leading the U.S. delegation in Munich, despite her lack of foreign policy experience. Critics have said that Ivanka is poorly suited for the top White House position given to her by her father and that her involvement in important conferences — like the one in Munich — only serve to weaken America’s authority among international partners. She was joined at the conference by a group that included Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
Donald Trump has often tapped his daughter to represent the United States on the international stage, and both Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, are seen as Trump’s closest advisers. Both have weathered a frequently volatile White House where turnover is high, making them two of the few remaining members to have been with the president from the beginning of his tenure.
Merkel calls out Trump in a speech, saying it "comes as a bit of a shock" to her that German cars may be named as a threat to American national security and points out South Carolina is the world's largest BMW factory, "not Bavaria!"— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) February 16, 2019
Watch the cut-away of Ivanka's face. pic.twitter.com/6WRVb6UfIo
German Chancellor Merkel received a standing ovation after a speech rejecting U.S. demands that European allies pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Russia's foreign minister, a high-ranking Chinese official and Ivanka Trump pointedly stayed in their seats. https://t.co/QnUnaLi4Cw— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 16, 2019
Ivanka Trump’s cold reaction to Angela Merkel’s slam was not the only viral moment for the Trump family at the conference. At an award ceremony for recipients of a scholarship named after the late John McCain, Vice President Mike Pence was met with an awkward silence after he passed along greetings from Donald Trump, who was in Florida at his company’s golf course on Saturday.