I’m just learning that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a $50 million contribution to a women’s finance initiative that Ivanka Trump created and did so during a visit she made to Tokyo on Nov. 3 just days before her father, President Donald Trump, started his Asian tour in Japan.
My Japanese sources tell me that Ivanka’s business in Japan is doing very well, partly because of government help, and that some of the money going to the women’s initiative may, in fact, help her business to expand in Japan.
We don’t understand all the dimensions of this gift–I sincerely doubt that as a result of the gift, Ivanka went to her father and said, “Go easy on Shinzo.” The pattern already was established–Abe and Trump have been having a bro-mance.
But the appearance is shocking. The optics are all wrong. Why would a Japanese prime minister make a donation of taxpayers’ money to Ivanka just before her father visits? I don’t blame the Japanese side. They are playing the game well.
But doesn’t anyone in the Trump camp worry about any insinuation that the family is putting its own interests above that of American interests in Japan and the region? There is supposed to be integrity in American governmental decision-making (I know, it’s a quaint concept), but this shows how little exists in Trump land. Ivanka holds the position of adviser in the White House, so she is an official of the U.S. government. And the timing of it all was spectacularly suspicious–why would Ivanka accept $50 million on the Friday before her father arrives on Sunday?
Something is rotten in Tokyo.