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President Trump with his daughter Ivanka Trump and Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, at a Group of 20 event on Saturday in Hamburg, Germany.

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Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Ivanka Trump briefly sat in for her father, President Trump, during a session on Saturday at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, prompting an outcry on social media and a swift defense from her brother Donald Trump Jr.

Ms. Trump, who had been sitting in the back of the room during a discussion of topics that were relevant to her, joined the main table when Mr. Trump had to step out, a White House official said.

When other leaders left the table, their seats were also filled by others in their delegations, the official added.

But Ms. Trump’s appearance riled the president’s critics, who have questioned the role that Mr. Trump’s family members play in the administration. Ms. Trump serves as a senior adviser to the president. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is also a senior adviser and the head of the new Office of American Innovation.

While Mr. Trump was away from the table, his daughter sat between President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain.

A Russian official, Svetlana Lukash, captured the moment in a photograph and posted it on Twitter. Though she later deleted the tweet, the image lived on in a screenshot that riled up some on both sides of the aisle.

Representative Ted Lieu, Democrat of California, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Twitter that based on Ms. Trump’s example, he was going to ask the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, “if my son can sit in for me at the next House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting.”

Donald Jr. waded into the fray on Twitter after Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and a frequent critic of President Trump, said she would prefer Ms. Trump as president.

“She is VERY smart & eloquent,” Donald Jr. said of his sister in a response on Twitter. “You can belittle her all you want w your snark, but we all know 1 on 1 she way out of your league.”

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