You know how much you hate it when colleagues or total strangers bully you into looking at photos of their kids? Of course you do; it’s awful. Imagine, then, the pain felt by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, both of whom were forced to endure a mandatory performance by Trump’s eldest grandkids during their trip to Mar-A-Lago.
Think about it: Your day’s already garbage because you’re trapped at this tacky Florida estate, surrounded by all 230 members of the extended Trump clan. It’s not enough to have to suffer Trump’s inept hand dances and Ivanka’s unblinking parietal eye and Jared Kushner’s lifeless wooden doll face. Oh no—there’s more. The Kushner children have a surprise for you, whether you want it or not. That’s right. They’re gonna sing.
Billed by Ivanka as an attempt to make their guests feel “at home,” the original idea was for both Arabella, 5, and Joseph, 3, to serenade the head of state with a song called “Jasmine,” to be performed, naturally, in Mandarin.
But Joseph crapped out, indicating that at least one member of the Kushner-Trump brood may have some small shred of self-awareness. Arabella, though, plowed ahead alone, her tiny voice quavering along while Ivanka beamed.
“Why is this happening to me?” Jinping’s eyes seem to scream. Liyuan, herself a folk singer, smiles gamely at the child’s warbles, but I know that look: Beneath her fixed grin, she yearns for escape—an inexplicably shattered chandelier, a small kitchen fire. An international emergency isn’t preferable, but a reprieve is a reprieve. Behind them, Trump wonders when focus will reshift back to him; he’s bored and his Twitter fingers are itchy.
Arabella, to her credit, has purportedly been studying Mandarin since she was 18 months old. She’ll probably be issued her security clearance any day now, despite being clearly overqualified for any potential position in the Trump administration.