A Resentful Tillerson Will Not Accompany Ivanka Trump To India

"They won't send someone senior because they don't want to bolster Ivanka. It's now another rift between the White House and State [Department]."

Ivanka Trump, the influential first daughter, will be flying out to India next week for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

President Donald Trump's favorite progeny has been invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the event that aims to bring attention to women entrepreneurs this year.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has, however, decided to not send a high-level delegation to support the first daughter.

Reports from multiple State Department officials suggest the step has been taken not because of budgetary consideration, but because Trump herself was leading the delegation.

"They (Tillerson and his staff) won't send someone senior because they don't want to bolster Ivanka. It's now another rift between the White House and State at a time when Rex Tillerson doesn't need any more problems with the president," said a State Department official.

The summit is a high-profile event that has previously been attended by former President Barack Obama.

This year, however, no one higher than the deputy assistant secretary will be traveling to India with Trump. Moreover, the State Department has become a lot more stringent for everyone actually traveling with the senior White House adviser, as the secretary and his top staff have insisted upon approving all travel details.

This show of defiance has not gone unnoticed.

Sources from the White House have confirmed the smaller delegation of people who don’t belong to the higher rungs of the administration has crossed many in the West Wing.

The ongoing rift between the State Department and White House becomes even more grave because of the former’s dedication to forging closer ties with India, an initiative that may have been helped by the star presence of Ivanka.

"Rex doesn't like the fact that he's supposed to be our nation's top diplomat, and Jared and now Ivanka have stepped all over Rex Tillerson for a long time," the source said. "So now, he's not sending senior people from the State Department to support this issue. He's not supporting Ivanka Trump."

At this point, the tensions continue to simmer below the surface. None of the parties has openly confirmed the hostility and, when contacted by CNN, Ivanka’s spokesperson refused to comment.

Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS, Jim Bourg

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