Though Donald Trump previously denigrated some African countries as "s---hole countries," daughter Ivanka told the Associated Press he "will be" inspired if he travels there

By Adam Carlson
April 19, 2019 01:03 PM
From left: Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump infamously attacked parts of Africa as “s—hole countries” last year, but earlier this month daughter Ivanka Trump told the Associated Press she hopes he visits and that “he will be” inspired as she has.

“Our commitment to Africa is clear,” she said in an AP interview Wednesday.

Ivanka, 37, is a senior aide in her father’s administration where she largely focuses on economic, women’s and family issues. She has been on a four-day trip through Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast.

Though the AP noted there was some initial skepticism for Ivanka’s trip, “there no public signs of tension as [she] posed for photos with officials and announced development grants.”

“Our actions are speaking for themselves in terms of our dedication to seeing Africa prosper,” she told the AP. “I’m very excited about continuing my work to specifically focus on advocating and advancing the role of women on this continent and beyond.”

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Ivanka is the face of the Trump administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, or W-GDP, which targets job training; women-owned businesses; and the laws, regulations and stigmas that hold back female participation in the global economy.

“America first does not mean America alone,” she previously said of the effort.

“We are proud to be the most generous nation in the world,” Ivanka said in February, adding then: “The economic empowerment of women should not be viewed as a ‘woman’s issue.’ It’s smart development assistance that benefits whole families, communities, and entire nations.”

President Donald Trump
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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While President Trump’s daughter told the AP this week that the administration wanted Africa to prosper, the White House’s latest budget proposal has nonetheless called for cuts “to diplomacy and development by about one-quarter,” according to the AP. (That request is unlikely to be approved by Congress.)

Privately, President Trump has made his feelings about parts of Africa clear.

Last year, in discussions about immigration, he referred to El Salvador, Haiti and some African countries as “s—hole countries,” according to the Washington Post. Though Trump later denied this, other lawmakers in the room confirmed it happened.

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The president has a long history of incendiary comments toward immigrants and has made restricting immigration, both legal and illegal, a central part of his administration.

First Lady Melania Trump traveled to Africa last year, visiting Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi in her first solo trip abroad.

Asked then about the president’s proposed funding cuts to countries such as Malawi, she said, “We are having funding. So we are helping the countries, and we are working hard for helping them, and we will continue to help.”

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