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.
Tillerson trying to keep distance of opportunistic Ivanka Trump traveling to India with her brother Eric in order to build Trump Towersnin that country, pressing with the Presidency of the US ...! https://t.co/hv106J9jtg— Gregorio Meraz (@GregorioMeraz1) November 26, 2017
Good for Tillerson. Ivanka doesn't need the US government to support her clothing manufacturing in India. Trump personal business has nothing to do with our government but Trumps don't see it that way.— email@example.com (@hugie075) November 26, 2017
She's there to sell her junk that she's now going to pull out of China and move to India. Who doesn't know that?— Patricia Farrell (@drpatfarrell) November 25, 2017
Ivanka’s is just scouting new locations for her cheap labor factories— Matthew (@Matthew34534401) November 25, 2017
@IvankaTrump doesn't rep women or the USA this is a waste of our tax money such a joke— cmerry (@cmerry) November 25, 2017
Why would any senior member at State ever be assigned to prop up an unqualified demanding manor-born power-grabber empty-soul-plastic-spokesmodel on intnl stages so The Model can fatten her brand & become Queen to All the Little Peoples?— Not a skittle (@Clancy_Dew) November 25, 2017
He also has no State Department to send. Ironic and hypocritical that she speaks on women empowerment when this administration has done absolutely nothing to bolster women in this Country @IvankaTrump. pic.twitter.com/ttyQTPIOak— Mary Snavlinmsnavlin (@msnavlin) November 25, 2017
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