On the cusp of the 2020 elections, the public knows all too much about Donald Trump and most of his family. In fact, it’s difficult to spend a day on social media without hearing about Donald and his wife Melania or children such as Ivanka or Donald Trump Jr.
The big exception to this is Donald and Melania’s 14-year-old son Barron Trump. We occasionally get big updates, including the fact that he had (and recovered from) COVID-19, according to a personal essay Melania posted on the White House website on Oct. 14. But much about this young Trump remains a mystery.
Fortunately, we can peel some of that mystery back by diving into the truth about Donald Trump’s relationship with Barron.
Barron stays out of the public eye
Barron is the most private and seemingly-reclusive of the Trumps. This may be due in part to his desire to stay out of the limelight. However, we know for a fact that it is largely due to his mother Melania Trump.
Melania laid it all out in a 2016 interview with ABC News. She said that despite all of the insanity surrounding the election and her husband, that her biggest priority was that Barron have “a childhood as normal as possible.”
For the most part, Melania seems to have been successful. Although Barron occasionally gets swept up in his mother’s own drama, including when she notoriously refused to move herself and Barron into the White House at the beginning of Trump’s presidency.
Donald and Barron reportedly live in different parts of the White House
Because Melania has been so successful at insulating Barron Trump from the media, there is only so much we know about his life and his personality. And most of what we do know seems to come directly from Melania herself, although various writers and journalists have made attempts to pierce this particular veil.
In 2019, journalist Kate Bennett released an unauthorized biography of Melania titled Free, Melania. This book claims that Melania and Barron both live in an entirely different quarter of the White House than Donald Trump (although as Yahoo! points out, Melania has publicly denied this).
Long story short? We can’t know for sure that Barron lives very far away from his father within the White House. But back in New York, Barron had a separate floor of Trump Tower for his very own. If he does have his own space in the White House, this may simply be how he prefers to live.
Donald Trump fiercely protects Barron
The idea that Donald and Barron Trump lead very different and very separate lives may make you think Donald Trump would be cold and distant to his son. In reality, he has been fiercely protective of Barron on multiple occasions.
The best (and most infamous) example of this occurred during the 2017 scandal with comedian Kathy Griffin. In an attempt to protest Donald Trump and his presidency, Griffin posted a photo in which she appeared to hold the severed head of Donald Trump.
This led to an almost instant backlash from all sides of the political aisle, and Griffin was fired from her regular New Year’s Eve hosting duties at CNN. However, Donald Trump also made a point to publicly scold her over this stunt.
Via Twitter, the elder Trump was direct and blunt: “Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
Griffin later quested how genuine his reaction was, especially in light of the GOP using this “sick” image in an advertisement (as reported by Deadline). But at the time, it was difficult for anyone to claim that Trump was not instantly and fiercely protective of Barron.
What Donald Trump’s body language reveals about his relationship with Barron
Between the speeches and press conferences and endless Tweets, we normally know exactly what is on Donald Trump’s mind at any time. However, he doesn’t talk that much about Barron. But according to experts, he may just be letting his body do the talking.
In June 2020, The Express published an analysis by body language expert Judi James. And much of this analysis focused on how Donald Trump posed with Barron in a variety of different photos.
According to James, early photos show that “Trump’s body language signals with his son Barron suggest he is a bit of a ‘Lion King’ papa, proudly presenting the boy to the world while hinting he is a chip off the old block.” As Barron got older, James concluded, “Once Barron grows taller and those ‘stabilizer’ hands come off, Trump appears to display confidence in his son by allowing him his body language independence.”
Now, body language analysis certainly has its share of skeptics. But it’s tough to look at these photos and deny that Donald Trump is anything but a proud papa.
Does Barron Trump have an absentee dad?
In 2018, another journalist, Michael Wolff, released an unauthorized book about Donald Trump’s presidency and family life. The book, titled Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, portrays a very chilly relationship between Donald and Barron Trump.
Wolff wrote, “An absentee father for his first four children, Trump was even more absent for his fifth, Barron, his son with Melania. Now on his third marriage, he told friends he thought he had finally perfected the art: live and let live — ‘do your own thing.'”
At the end of the day, Melania has been quite successful at insulating Barron Trump from the public eye. And to figure out his relationship with his father, you must decide between the tweets and body language versus the unauthorized biographies and tell-alls.
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