The city of Hyderabad had been anticipating White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump's speech at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit for months, banning the act of begging in the streets, rounding up the homeless and building a shopping center in preparation for the international envoy.
It may have seemed safe to assume the first daughter's speech writers were working overtime as well, preparing a robust keynote address that would showcase her appreciation of women entrepreneurs in India and their contributions to technology and the workplace.
While Trump did say a few lines crafted specifically for the event she was attending—"In this 'City of Pearls,' the greatest treasure is you!" she said, citing Hyderabad's monicker to an applauding audience—it appeared the breadth of her talking points were recycled from a previous speech she gave during a foreign trip earlier this month.
Several lines the 36-year-old delivered Tuesday had been directly pulled from her poorly attended November 2 speech in Tokyo, where she attended the World Assembly for Women alongside Japanese President Shinzo Abe.
Those lines included Trump's affinity for colorful, extravagant words in otherwise boilerplate statements:
"When women work, it creates a unique multiplier effect," Trump said in Hyderabad, citing the same exact line from her Tokyo speech. Her words continued to mirror the speech she gave just a few weeks ago: "Women are more likely than men to hire other women, and to give them access to capital, mentorship and networks. Women are also more likely to reinvest their income back in their families and communities."
The recycled speech drew criticism from international news outlets, with Quartz India writing the headline "Parts of Ivanka Trump's Hyderabad speech sounded a lot like the one she gave in Tokyo."
Of course, Trump is far from the first person to pull from their old speeches—government officials, especially those campaigning, routinely use their old talking points in updated talks with voters across the country. Even comedians reuse the same punchlines, however inauthentic it may be.
Still, Trump's recycling of her old speech could be more significant than simply her not having anything else to say about women’s empowerment. The repetitive lines could show where the first daughter's focus lies in the White House, and what accomplishments she hopes to align with her newfound political brand.
Trump repeated her commitment to a new World Bank initiative focused on women entrepreneurs, touting her involvement as being critical in the launch of the new fund.
"After my father’s election, I saw an opportunity to leave my businesses for the privilege of serving our country and empowering all Americans—including women—to succeed," Trump said, reciting her Tokyo speech nearly word for word. "This summer, at the G20 conference, the United States was a founding member of a bold, new initiative with the World Bank—the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, or WeFi. This facility provides access to capital, networks, and mentorship for women in developing countries."
Despite Trump's apparent eagerness to raise awareness for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, some lawmakers wish she’d quietly step away from the fund.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) told Newsweek the first daughter has a severe conflicts of interest issue pertaining to WeFi, since she continues to profit off her women’s fashion company while promoting women's businesses in the White House. The senator has called for Trump to fully separate herself from WeFi.
"I don't question Ivanka Trump’s sincerity to advance a cause she feels deeply about while making money—that's great, that's America," Cardin said last month. "What is not allowed is for anyone to profit off holding a public position. We should have full disclosure of all her financial interests, and when you don’t have that, it raises serious questions."
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Trump for attending the event, saying, "This event showcases the close ties between the United States of America and India."
"It underlines our shared commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation," he added.
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