During a speech on tax reform in North Dakota on Wednesday, President Donald Trump beckoned his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to the stage and proceeded to show her off in his notoriously creepy way.
"Everybody loves Ivanka. Come up, honey," the president said into the microphone, looking toward his daughter. "Should I bring Ivanka up? Come on."
As she walked to the stage, he went off in typical Trump fashion, turning a situation that was already unprofessional into one that was downright uncomfortable.
"Sometimes they'll say, 'You know, he can't be that bad a guy — look at Ivanka,'" he preened.
"No, come on up, honey. She's so good. She wanted to make the trip. She said 'Dad, can I go with you?' She actually said, 'Daddy, can I go with you?'" Trump corrected himself. "I like that, right? 'Daddy, can I go with you?' I said, 'Yes, you can.' 'Where are you going?' 'North Dakota.'"
When the president welcomed his daughter into his administration, his opponents were quick to cry "nepotism" and point out the unprecedented access Ivanka Trump now had to the most powerful connections in the world.
Those frustrated by the White House becoming a family affair were left to wonder what exactly Ivanka Trump was doing in the West Wing.
In the midst of discussing tax reform, Trump showed off his daughter in order to paint himself as a gentle father figure. He recounted the kind of conversation a 5-year-old might have with their father, not one any grown woman has with the president of the United States. Trump used his slightly-more-palatable daughter to soften his own image — belittling and infantalizing a powerful woman for a petty man's gain.
To top the entire problematic segue off, his behavior made it that much harder to see where Ivanka Trump's role in the White House begins and her role as Trump's daughter ends.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters photographer Jonathan Ernst