In a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump suggested that his daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka, doesn’t get enough credit for her work because she’s a member of the Trump family.
Shortly after opening the meeting, the president turned the floor over to his daughter, who discussed a new jobs initiative and the Trump administration’s “private sector commitment to all of our workers.”
After she concluded her remarks, the president was full of praise for his daughter — and his signature scorn for the media.
“Wow. So if that were Ivanka ‘Smith,’ the press would say that was totally brilliant,” Trump joked to laughter from members of his cabinet, according to a pool report. “As Ivanka Trump they’ll say, ‘Oh, she was okay.’ ”
“That was really great, unbelievable,” he added to his daughter, who smiled and said thank you.
“Wow, so if that were Ivanka Smith, the press would say ‘that was totally brilliant, we’ve never sen anything like that,’” Trump says in cabinet meeting.
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) July 18, 2018
Later in the meeting, a reporter asked Trump if he thought Russia was still targeting the United States and its elections. According to a pool report, Trump quickly claimed, “No,” then proceeded to “smirk and laugh” as reporters left the room.
Trump’s comments come after he faced widespread criticism for a Helsinki press conference on Monday in which he said he took Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s word over findings by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 American presidential election.
Trump has since backtracked on the comments. During a meeting Tuesday with members of Congress, Trump said he supported U.S. intelligence agencies, and claimed he had misspoken when he said he didn’t see any reason why Russia would have meddled the U.S. election.
So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki. Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018
But by Wednesday morning, he was defending the press conference and calling out the “many haters who wanted to see a boxing match.”
He also said in Wednesday’s cabinet meeting that Putin understands his “tough” foreign policy “a lot better” than “the media” does.