‘It came incredibly close to happening’
Talk of Ms Trump being at the helm of the global financial institution was more seriously considered than was earlier perceived, according to two unnamed sources cited by The Intercept in a report published on Sunday.
Mr Trump “very much wanted” his daughter as World Bank president, but Mr Mnuchin blocked her ascent to the leadership role, according to the report.
“It came incredibly close to happening,” a well-placed source was quoted as saying by the news website.
Ms Trump, a senior adviser to her father, was reportedly the first person Mr Trump thought of when the post became vacant in January 2019 after Jim Yong Kim announced his decision to step down and move to Wall Street.
Mr Jim’s sudden departure from the key role led to chaos at the White House and offered an opportunity for the former president to reshape the international financial organisation.
“As the White House moved to select its new leader, one name very dear to Trump’s heart kept floating around: his daughter Ivanka Trump,” suggested the report.
In a 2019 interview with The Atlantic, Mr Trump said he “thought of Ivanka for the World Bank… she would’ve been great” because “she’s very good with numbers”.
The nominee for the World Bank’s top post is selected by the institution’s board of governors. The candidates are named by the US.
Former White House spokesperson Jessica Ditto said Ms Trump was qualified to lead the World Bank because she created the “Ivanka Fund”, an initiative for the financial institution. “She’s worked closely with the World Bank’s leadership for the past two years,” Ms Ditto had said.
Mr Mnuchin at the time, however, often placed himself between the president and his “colossally counterproductive moves,” according to the report.
The former treasury secretary’s time as a Hollywood producer, because of which Mr Trump “craved” for his approval, gave him the upper hand in taking influential decisions.
The former treasury secretary and then chief of staff Mick Mulvaney asked her to help lead an internal search to select the World Bank’s new president instead.
Ms Trump had, in 2019, shrugged off the opportunity to lead the World Bank because she said she was “happy with the work” she was doing as a senior adviser to the president.
When former under secretary of treasury for international affairs David Malpass was named the new World Bank president, Ms Trump released a statement saying Mr Malpass would be “an extraordinary leader of the World Bank”.
Prior to being an adviser to the president, Ms Trump held the office of executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organisation.