Ivanka Trump has been hit with one of the biggest criticisms plaguing her father
The daughter of Donald Trump has joined the president-elect in conversations with the leaders of countries including Turkey, Argentina, and Japan, The New York Times reported in an in-depth look at Trump's potential conflicts of interest president.
Trump has said that Ivanka, along with her brothers Eric and Donald Jr., will take control of the Trump Organization when he becomes president. While her brothers' business ventures have been almost entirely connected to the Trump Organization, Ivanka has become famous in her own right through her fashion lines.All three adult children are on the president-elect's transition team, which is currently deciding who will serve in Trump's administration.
Ivanka's meetings with these world leaders blurs the line between the Trump family's politics and business, as it puts her in a position to influence international policies and relationships that could be beneficial for her family's businesses. As the Trump child with the most visible retail brands, she arguably has the most to gain or lose in the overlap of business and politics under Trump's presidency.
Take, for example, Turkey. Ivanka Trump has long been involved in Trump Towers Istanbul, conducting discussions with the Trump Organization's business partner in the project, Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, in 2008, and attending the towers' opening celebration in 2012.
After Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called for the removal of Trump's name from the building. Later, following Trump's support of Erdogan's jailing of nearly 50,000 people following a failed coup, calls to rename the towers ceased.
In a call between President-elect Trump, Ivanka, and Erdogan following the election, Trump reportedly said that both he and his daughter admired the Turkish leader, as well as Mehmet Ali Yalcindag. In that way, it was a phone call that bridged business and politics, removing any supposed wall between Trump and his children.
Ivanka and her brothers have also met with leaders outside of their political roles as a members of the transition team. The three met with Trump Organization's long-time business partner in the Philippines, Jose Antonio - who was appointed by the country's president, Rodrigo Duterte, as special envoy to the US - in Trump Tower following the election, to discuss new real estate ventures, the New York Times reported.
Currently, the relationship between the US and the Philippines is an often uneasy one. Philippines President Duterte's campaign has killed more than 2,500 people since he took office in late June, according to police reports, with most deaths tied to the politician's crackdown on drugs in the country. There have been demands to prosecute Duterte in the International Criminal Court for these killings, a threat that the politician said in a speech on Monday was "bullshit."
Trump has said, as president, he has little interest in his business and plans to separate himself from the company, handing control over to the next generation. While most politicians on state and national levels have strict rules to prevent conflicts of interest, is not illegal for President-elect Trump to make political decisions that benefit himself and his family's business, though it would be seen as highly unethical.
Even if the president-elect does manage to separate himself from his business during his time in office, his inclusion of his children in the transition is already raising red flags.
"We are in the process of vetting various structures with the goal of the immediate transfer of management of The Trump Organization and its portfolio of businesses to Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump along with a team of highly skilled executives," the Trump Organization said in a statement to Business Insider. "This is a top priority at the Organization and the structure that is ultimately selected will comply with all applicable rules and regulations."
While all three Trump children are involved in the Trump Organization, Ivanka Trump's personal brand has the potential to be hardest hit by her continued entanglement with her father's politics. Anti-Trump customers are calling for a boycott of Nordstrom, Macy's and other retailers due to the companies' refusal to ditch Ivanka Trump's fashion lines.
Last week, Ivanka Trump's fashion brand published a public letter saying it was separating Ivanka's personal social media channels from the brand's. Beyond that, however, there is no evidence that Ivanka will remove herself from the fashion company as she serves on her father's transition team.