Staged Interview? Ivanka Trump in Doha Fields 'Softball' Questions From Her Spokeswoman

Published December 15th, 2019 - 11:40 GMT
Ivanka Trump takes questions from her spokeswoman at Doha Forum (AFP)
Ivanka Trump takes questions from her spokeswoman at Doha Forum (AFP)

Ivanka Trump is being accused of staging a fake interview during the Doha Forum where she took questions from her own spokeswoman in a room full of high-level officials. 

The event, held annually in Qatar, is a platform for leaders to discuss policy and innovation on key global issues. 

Ivanka Trump spoke mostly about her work on women’s economic empowerment around the world. 

But unlike other high-ranking officials at the forum, Trump fielded softball questions from US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

Ortagus mostly posed leading questions mostly about Ivanka's Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, of which she too is a part. 

"You were able to put women's prosperity into the national security strategy," Ortagus said in one of her questions. "That was so important to me that you did that and I’d love for you to explain that.”

She went on to ask her about her recent trip to Morocco and future plans for the success of her initiative. 

"What can the countries represented here do to support you on Pillar Three," Ortagus also asked Ivanka, referring to a core pillar in her women's economic program 

Her responses seemed to highlight her main talking points about the impact of development assistance and the role women can play in recipient countries. 

Some reporters at the event took note of the softball interview including Buzzfeed News' editor-in-chief, Ben Smith who commented on the matter extensively. 

MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin also reflected on what appeared to be Ivanka's staged interview.  

Online, many criticized Ivanka for the interview, lashing out at her and the Trump administration. 

There were some who defended her, reminding the public that politicians on both sides of the isle are no strangers to softball interview questions. 

There has been much curiosity about Ivanka's attendance at the forum despite the Trump administration having avoided it the prior year amid Saudi-Qatari tensions. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also attended this year. 

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