In 2017, Donald Trump tapped David Malpass to oversee a top Treasury Department agency, despite being a less-than-ideal choice. Malpass was, after all, the chief economist at Bear Stearns, where he downplayed the risks posed by the subprime crisis, right before the subprime crisis brought down Bear Stearns.
Two years later, the president nevertheless chose Malpass to lead the World Bank – despite his years-long criticisms of the World Bank and its work, and despite the fact that Malpass has been wrong about most of the major economic challenges of the last several years. Nevertheless, Malpass was the White House’s choice, following a search process that was led in part by Ivanka Trump.
Why in the world would one of the president’s adult children help lead the process of selecting the next World Bank president? It’s a tough question to answer, although it’s better than the alternative: Ivanka Trump leading the World Bank.
The Atlantic has a new feature on the president’s high-profile daughter, whom the president insists “created millions of jobs.” (In reality, Ivanka Trump has not created millions of jobs.) The article added:
But it’s true that when jobs open up in the Trump administration – a frequent occurrence – Ivanka is at the top of her father’s mind. “She’s a natural diplomat,” Trump said. “She would’ve been great at the United Nations, as an example.” I asked why he didn’t nominate her. “If I did, they’d say nepotism, when it would’ve had nothing to do with nepotism. But she would’ve been incredible.”
Warming to the subject, he said, “I even thought of Ivanka for the World Bank … She would’ve been great at that because she’s very good with numbers.”
It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the many ways in which this is absurd.
I’m reasonably sure, for example, Donald Trump, more than two years into his presidency, still doesn’t know what the World Bank is. The Republican appears hears the word “bank,” thinks “numbers,” which leads him to “Ivanka” – not because his adult daughter, who oversaw a lifestyle brand, is a mathematician or finance expert, but because he apparently thinks of her for a wide variety of responsibilities.
It may be of interest to the president to read the New York Times’ recent summary of World Bank’s mission, which “includes reducing global poverty, providing financial aid to needy countries and fighting the effects of climate change.”
Notwithstanding Ivanka Trump’s mastery of numbers, she has no qualifications in any of these areas. There’s very little to suggest her father cares.
Not long after the 2016 election, CBS News’ Lesley Stahl noted to Ivanka Trump that there were widely held assumptions that she would soon have a role in her father’s administration. “No,” she replied. “I’m going to be a daughter.”
As regular readers know, it was a commitment she quickly abandoned. Ivanka Trump soon had a West Wing office, a staff, a policy portfolio, and a presence on the international stage. We now know, because her father admitted it on the record, that the president also considered her for the United Nations and the World Bank.
All of which leads to a rather obvious question: if he thought he could get away with it, would Donald Trump put Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in charge of everything?