Merkel Makes Amends for Ivanka Trump’s Frosty Reception in Germany

  • ‘Hope we were a good audience’: German leader in dinner speech
  • Trump daughter drew groans for defending father at conference

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made amends for a Berlin audience that gave Ivanka Trump a rough reception, telling the U.S. president’s daughter she was grateful for her visit.

Merkel’s comment at a gala dinner in the German capital sought to end Ivanka Trump’s first day overseas as a presidential adviser with an upbeat gesture. The chancellor, who presides over Europe’s biggest economy, is among foreign leaders reaching out to President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter to try to moderate his views on matters such as global trade and defense spending.

“I’m very glad that you braved this trip to Germany,” Merkel said in a video excerpt posted on Twitter by her chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert. “I hope we were a good audience for you and that you’ll take some new ideas home with you.”

The German leader thanked Trump’s daughter for proposing a global fund to promote women entrepreneurs in poorer countries and said she’ll “spare no effort” to persuade fellow leaders of Group of 20 countries to back it. Merkel will be hosting the U.S. president as part of a G-20 summit in Hamburg in July.

While a small group of protesters held up anti-Ivanka Trump signs outside the venue, news photos from the dinner at Deutsche Bank AG’s Berlin offices on Tuesday showed Merkel and the president’s daughter sitting next to each other engrossed in conversation.

That contrasted with the frosty moment at a conference on women’s empowerment earlier Tuesday, where the president’s daughter drew groans for calling her father “a tremendous champion of supporting families.” Noting the audience reaction, the moderator followed up with a question about the president’s attitude toward women.

Ivanka Trump complimented Merkel in an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF aired on Wednesday, saying “everyone can learn something from the chancellor.”

Trump and Merkel “got along incredibly well -- despite differences” when they met in Washington in March, the president’s daughter said, adding that she hopes it’ll be the start of a “warm” relationship that “hopefully will continue to grow.”

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