First daughter Ivanka Trump reportedly left a White House conference call on Tuesday when a reporter asked her to comment on her brand receiving a wave of trademark approvals from China that have raised ethics concerns.
Trump was co-hosting the background call with the director of the president’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, Holli Richmond, ahead of the White House Sports and Fitness Day on Wednesday. A few days prior, reports emerged that China had given Trump’s fashion brand approval for 13 trademarks over the past three months, with some granted shortly before her father, President Donald Trump, pledged to save the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE from collapsing financially.
When a reporter asked the president's eldest daughter to address the trademark approvals, as well as the president’s exercise routine, press aide Ninio Fetalvo said, "You can refer those questions to the press office," according to CBS News.
A CNN reporter is then said to have asked Ivanka Trump to talk about her father’s fitness in light of White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson’s recommendation in January that he drop some weight.
Following a short moment of silence, Fetalvo said, "So Ivanka had to step out for another meeting, but Holli is here to take on the additional questions.”
Richmond was unable to answer additional reporters’ questions on whether First Lady Melania Trump would be at the fitness event for more than 250 children and parents. She did say that the president would be present to “make remarks and to uplift this collaboration with Health and Human Services."
White House officials did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment on Wednesday.
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on Friday pointed out that Ivanka Trump’s business received five of the trademark approvals from China on May 7, in the same week as the president announced he would help ZTE.
"As a White House adviser, Ivanka has represented the United States at multiple diplomatic events despite the potential conflicts her business interests present," CREW stated on its website. "Although Ivanka has stepped down from her role at her business and has placed it in a trust, she continues to receive profits from the business."
More from Newsweek
- Ivanka Trump’s Defense for Wearing Her Company's Clothing Is ‘Laughable,’ Former Ethics Chief Says
- Ivanka Trump Should ‘Know Better’: Watchdog Demands Investigation on First Daughter Wearing Her Company’s Clothes
- Ivanka Trump Keeps Wearing Her Company's Clothes and Shoes Despite Call For Ethics Investigation