WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mingled with senior White House staffers, including the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, as he began a two-day trip to Washington on Tuesday.
The prime minister sat with his wife Sophie beside Donald Trump’s daughter and the U.S. deputy national security adviser Dina Powell during a gala.
Trudeau was to speak at the gala, the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Forum held in the atrium of the National Portrait Gallery. He will meet Wednesday with President Donald Trump and U.S. lawmakers before leaving for Mexico the next day.
The prime minister has met the first daughter several times.
The first was in February during his first White House meeting with Trump.
They announced the creation of a Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, a joint initiative meant to help businesses owned by women.
The idea for the project came from Trudeau’s chief of staff Katie Telford, who worked on it with two senior White House staffers: Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner, and deputy White House national security adviser Dina Powell, who was also in attendance Tuesday.
The group, which has had a low public profile since, says it’s working on recommendations over the coming months to achieve its five priorities, including increasing women’s presence in science-based education programs and improving access to capital.
The prime minister and his wife also sat next to Ivanka Trump at a Broadway screening of the play “Come From Away,” about Canadians taking in stranded U.S. air travellers after the 9-11 attacks.