First daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump was on conference call with reporters when she abruptly left after she received a question about her company’s recently approved trademarks in China.
The conference call was conducted by Ivanka along with White House Executive Director of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition Holli Richmond. The two hosted the call ahead of the White House Sports and Fitness Day that President Donald Trump will host.
At the beginning of the conference call, a White House official told reporters Ivanka would be taking some of their questions after the call.
When the call ended, reporters were told to ask questions.
The first question the first daughter received was about the five trademarks that were approved for Trump’s business by China shortly before Trump said he was working on a deal to lift the restrictions on China’s second-biggest telecom equipment maker ZTE.
However, instead of answering the question, Ivanka abruptly left the call. The NBC reporter who asked the question was told by press aide Ninio Fetalvo to “refer those questions to the press office.”
Ivanka’s disappearance from the call was noticed by reporters later when a CNN reporter asked her for an update on the president’s fitness and if he was following the fitness routine suggested by Dr. Ronny Jackson.
But she wasn’t there to answer the question.
“So Ivanka had to step out for another meeting, but Holli is here to take on the additional questions,” Fetalvo told the reporters.
Earlier this month, China’s second-biggest telecom equipment maker ZTE was forced to cease its major operations after the United States banned local firms from selling hardware and software to the telecommunication giant for 7 years.
However, almost a week after that decision, Trump sent out a rather surprising tweet claiming he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to save the telecom company.
Now, a couple of weeks down the road, a government ethics watchdog group released a report claiming the Chinese government Ivanka’s business.
Interestingly, the trademarks, applied for in March 2017, were accepted on May 7 – a handful of days before Trump announced he was working to ease restrictions on ZTE.
Ivanka Trump really doesn’t like taking tough questions https://t.co/aKp64FToaE— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) May 30, 2018
If you can’t take the heat ... run out of the meeting! https://t.co/zCPXPPawpJ— Laura O'Connor?? (@LauraOLauraO) May 30, 2018
Why did you have to leave a #YouthSports conference call early when asked about your new Chinese trademarks? Something to hide?— Laura (@Laura5871) May 29, 2018
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Amir Cohen