Ivanka Abruptly Leaves W.H. Meeting After Reporters Dare Question Her China Relations


In addition to President Donald Trump’s divisive and detrimental campaign platform, which led to him winning the 2016 elections, one of the primary concerns surrounding a Trump administration was the array of conflicts of interest that could arise between Trump’s numerous business ventures, and whether they would influence his agenda. Despite establishing a “blind trust” between him and his children, handing them the reigns to the family business, and stepping down from all organizational leadership positions, questions remain regarding the legitimacy of these tactics and whether Trump truly is entirely disengaged from his businesses.

On Wednesday, these questions re-emerged during a media call being held by Ivanka Trump, shortly following the news that the Chinese government had granted her brand their 13th trademark approval in recent months. Although having intended for the call to focus on the upcoming White House Sports and Fitness Day, reporters soon flipped the script, and began asking her about the influx of new trademarks that Trump’s brand has been receiving by the Chinese government. Ninio Fetalvo, a White House press aide also on the call, told reporters to refer questions about the company to him, given that Ivanka Trump also left leadership roles in her company upon being given the positions of White House advisor in her father’s administration.

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However, the timing of the trademarks have prompted even greater suspicion of conflicts of interest, as the approvals coincided with President Trump’s announcement of an agreement with ZTE, a major Chinese company. According to a CNBC report:

‘The Chinese government awarded Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand seven new trademarks, according to online records, just as President Donald Trump pledged to revive Chinese telecom giant ZTE.

‘On Friday, the Trump administration reportedly told Congress it had reached a deal with the Chinese government to lift a ban preventing ZTE from buying American goods if it paid a penalty for violating American sanctions on North Korea and Iran.’

Shortly after Fetalvo asked that company-related questions be directed towards him,  another reporter on the call attempted to ask Ivanka Trump about the status of her father’s health, a question more relevant to the topic of the call, only to be met with a silent pause. Fetalvo then responded again, stating that Ivanka needed to leave the call as she was headed to another meeting.

Despite increasing uncertainty about whether the new trademarks simply had bad timing or if there is a deeper conflict involved, executives of the Ivanka Trump brand claim that the timing is simply a coincidence. President of the brand, Abigail Klem, iterated in an email that the company has been doubling-down on international trademarks after seeing a spike in trademark filings by third party companies, allegedly attempting to rip-off the brand name.

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The justification given by Klem for the inundation of trademark approvals is nevertheless logical and relevant. However, when looking at the convenient timing of the ZTE deal with the trademarks, and the somewhat shady history of both Trump-related organizations and the Chinese government’s business dealings, one cannot help but be skeptical of the whole situation.

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