Ivanka Trump is gearing up for a major moment on the world stage, headlining the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India next week- but she won’t have the support of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
According to CNN, Tillerson won’t be sending high-level delegation to India to support her, even though the Summit is put on by the State Department, amid reported tensions between Tillerson and the White House.
‘Rex doesn’t like the fact that he’s supposed to be our nation’s top diplomat, and Jared and now Ivanka have stepped all over Rex Tillerson for a long time,’ a source close to the White House told CNN. ‘So now, he’s not sending senior people from the State Department to support this issue. He’s not supporting Ivanka Trump.’
The noticeably lighter than years past State Department delegation at the Summit is being perceived by the White House as a slight by Tillerson, and, it’s causing further friction in an already shaky alignment.
‘They (Tillerson and his staff) won’t send someone senior because they don’t want to bolster Ivanka. It’s now another rift between the White House and State at a time when Rex Tillerson doesn’t need any more problems with the President,’ the a senior State Department official told CNN.
‘No one higher than the deputy assistant secretary is allowed to participate. The secretary and his top staff have insisted on approving all travel– even the most minute details,’ the official added.
In year’s past Secretary of State John Kerry and even President Barack Obama attended multiple times.
Last year’s summit was in California’s Silicon Valley and was attended by included Secretary of State Kerry, a State Department undersecretary and other staff.
President Obama attended with a large delegation when it was held in Kenya in 2015, as did Kerry when it was in Malaysia in 2013.
This year’s summit, however, comes just as the White House has directed Secretary Tillerson to slash his agency’s budget, though the sources tell CNN the budget slashing isn’t part of the reason behind not sending senior State Department officials.
Trump was invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, and this year’s theme is supporting women entrepreneurs.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told CNN that: ‘The Department is committed to supporting women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, and the Summit is a prime opportunity to showcase the importance of these themes.’