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Ivanka Trump embraces spirit of tolerance, peace at Twitter forum

Trump on Islam

In what was billed as a Twitter forum hosted by President Trump on Sunday for young people in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Trump's eldest daughter and senior White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, took the stage to share her appreciation for the region's efforts in combating extremism and promoting peace. 

Fox News host Bret Baier announced to the crowd at the Tweeps2017 Forum that Mr. Trump would not be speaking to the audience as Ivanka offered remarks in his place.

The president, a prolific tweeter, was billed to host the forum in which young Saudis would "live-tweet" the president's remarks to people "all over the world," National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said when he announced the forum earlier this week

Ivanka shared her gratitude for the hospitality her family has been shown over the past few days as her father arrived in Riyadh as part of his first foreign trip as president. She lauded social media as "an incredibly powerful tool" to empower people, "especially the next generations."

"Ultimately this young generational cross the Arab world is a generation that can build tolerance, hope and peace. That's what today has been focused on," she said.

"This generation that will have voices heard that will convene and use social media to elevate their message," she added.

Saudi Arabia is rated "not free" in Freedom House's 2016 Freedom on the Net report. Popular social media platforms are not blocked, but use of them is restricted, Freedom House says.

Ivanka's remarks came on the first leg of Mr. Trump's first foreign trip and after a tumultuous week for the White House. Reports that Mr. Trump shared sensitive and possibly classified information with Russians, that he told fired FBI Director James Comey to halt an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and that the White House was aware Flynn was under investigation weeks before the president's inauguration, follow Mr. Trump on his trip. 

Mr. Trump may need to boost U.S. allies' confidence in him, after reportedly leaking Israeli intelligence to Russians last week. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the president, who tends to improvise his statements, should "stick to the script" on his first trip abroad. 

Follow below for a live blog of the Sunday event.


Forum comes to an abrupt close

Ivanka leaves the stage and offers her thanks as Baier comes back to let audience members know again that Mr. Trump would not be joining the evening's event. 

Building tolerance and peace

"Ultimately this young generational cross the Arab world is a generation that can build tolerance, hope and peace. That's what today has been focused on," says Ivanka Trump. "This generation that will have voices heard that will convene and use social media to elevate their message."

Entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Saudi

Ivanka applauds the work of the technology command center to combat terrorism. Trump lauds the work of social media as a means to empower the people. 

The Twitter forum opens 

Fox News host Bret Baier opens the forum, announcing that  President Trump will no longer be hosting the forum. Eldest daughter Ivanka Trump will now be appearing at the forum in place of her father.