After receiving backlash for having his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, at a private meeting between him and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President-elect Donald Trump is said to be making some changes.
A source close to the 70-year-old said that while Thursday’s meeting “was informal” and that Trump “has always encouraged Ivanka and his kids to attend meetings with him,” that would be changing moving forward.
“[The President-elect and his family] need to adjust to the new realities and they will,” the insider explained.
Trump met Abe for the first time on Thursday in New York City’s Trump Tower. The prime minister said he wanted to “build trust” with the President-elect — a sign he wants to safeguard the alliance between their two countries, according to CNN.
While the prime minister stayed silent on the details of what was discussed in the 90-minute meeting, he promised a more in-depth meeting in the future.
His visit came after concerns arose from several of Trump’s statements during the run-up to the election, which included a pledge to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership that eases trade between the U.S. and Japan.
“I am very honored to see the President-elect ahead of other world leaders,” Abe told reporters. “The Japan-U.S. alliance is the axis of Japan’s diplomacy and security. The alliance become alive only when there is trust between us. I would like to build such a trust with Mr Trump.”
But a photo of the meeting showing Ivanka sitting opposite her father as he spoke to Abe amid the splendor of gold and marble inside Trump Tower went viral Thursday night — prompting many to once again question the role Trump’s children would be taking in his administration.
Trump has previously said his children would manage his business interests in what he casts as his own version of a “blind trust.” A true blind trust would turn over management to an outside trustee.
Reports surfaced earlier in the week that Trump requested Kushner be present at his Presidential Daily Briefings — an unprecedented move, according to NBC News. It was also reported by CBS News that he was seeking security clearance for Kushner, as well as for his three oldest children: Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr.
The President-elect denied those reports in a tweet, saying “I am not trying to get ‘top level security clearance’ for my children. This was a typically false news story.’
During a 60 Minutes interview Sunday, Ivanka also clarified that she would not seek a role in her father’s administration.
“I’m going to be a daughter,” Ivanka said. “I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them … but not in a formal administrative capacity.”
Ivanka has already faced criticism for her brand’s promotion of a bracelet she wore during her father’s 60 Minutes interview. Now, her access to foreign leaders and world economies while managing her father’s businesses is being called into question, according to Politico.
The Wall Street Journal also wrote in an editorial after the election that it would be a conflict of interest for Trump to involve his children in policy-making decisions.
“Mr. Trump’s best option is to liquidate his stake in the company,” they wrote. “Millions of Americans have put their trust in Mr. Trump to succeed as President and improve their lives, not treat this as a four-year hiatus from his business. The presidential stakes are too high for Mr. Trump to let his family business become a daily political target.”