Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner took part in top-level nuclear negotiations with North Korea during President Donald Trump’s surprise visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Sunday, The Associated Press (AP) and The Daily Beast reported.
Trump’s daughter and son-in-law were in the room during high-level conversations about nuclear weapons and sanctions in the Freedom House, a building on the South Korean side of the DMZ, two unnamed officials told The Daily Beast on Monday.
It’s not clear, however, whether they sat in on a 50-minute-long private meeting between Trump and Kim where the two discussed North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to The Daily Beast.
The AP reported that Ivanka Trump and Kushner were both part of the closed-door chat between the US and North Korean leaders, but The Daily Beast cited an unnamed White House official as saying that they didn’t.
The unnamed US official told the Beast: “Although they met Kim, Jared and Ivanka did not participate in the closed-door meeting.” They did not answer when pressed on whether there were other meetings involving the leaders in which Ivanka Trump and Kushner did take part.
There is a lack of clarity on this topic because White House pool reporters, who typically follow the president on such trips, were banned from entering the room during Trump and Kim’s meeting, according to the AP.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner — who both hold the job title of White House senior adviser — have reportedly inserted themselves in multiple high-level discussions despite having no political experience.
Trump was ridiculed after the French government released video of her trying to join in a discussion with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and IMF chairwoman Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Osaka last week.
Christopher Hill, a US ambassador who oversaw negotiations with North Korea under President George W. Bush, told The Washington Post in response to the video: “It looks to the rest of the world like we have a kind of a constitutional monarchy.”
Kushner also frequently left then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson out of meetings with world leaders, Tillerson told Congress in a closed-door interview this May.
Last month he also released a proposal to end land disputes between Israelis and Palestinians, which critics say lacks concrete details about a political solution, and “ reads like a real estate developer’s brochure.”
Though Donald Trump and Kim have met twice since 2018 to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the two leaders still haven’t resolved the issue, and North Korea still has not denuclearized.
Their last formal summit, in Vietnam this February, ended abruptly without a resolution.
The Trump administration is considering a deal with Pyongyang that merely requires it to freeze its nuclear program rather than dismantle it entirely, The New York Times reported on Sunday. The State Department denied the Times’s report.