Inside Donald Trump's Relationship With Barron

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On Oct. 14, 2020, Melania Trump revealed that Barron Trump, her son with President Donald Trump, had contracted COVID-19. That same day, the commander-in-chief and Republican electoral incumbent purportedly used the diagnosis as a push for reopening schools in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. As USA Today reported, Trump told attendees at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa that his teenaged son's positive COVID test was a case of eventuality. (As per CNN, more than 220,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus as of Oct. 19, 2020.)

"It happens,” said Trump, who had also contracted coronavirus in early October 2020. "People have it, and it goes. Get the kids back to school. We've got to get them back to school."

While the news of Barron's initial COVID-positive status came after the teenager had apparently been tested again — this time, as negative — many felt that the president's use of his son's bout with the disease was a way to bolster his own agenda in downplaying the virus, per Business Insider. So, what is the relationship between father and son really like? Read on after the jump to find out. 

Details about Barron Trump's childhood have always been kept under wraps

While many of President Donald Trump's children — specifically Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. — are not only public figures, but are either active members of his administration or vocal advocates for his presidency, 14-year-old Barron Trump is notoriously private. This has been largely due in part to the efforts of First Lady Melania Trump, who explained in a 2016 interview with ABC News that her prerogative as a mother was to "just have [Barron have] a childhood as normal as possible."

Though Melania's attempts to regulate this have been mostly successful — thanks in part to limiting her son's public appearances as a member of the First Family to those that are absolutely obligatory — there have also been points during Trump's first term in office that have inadvertently necessitated Barron-related content by the media. 

Aside from Barron's recent COVID-19 scare, the first incident in which the youngest Trump was forced into the media ring occurred in 2017. This was when Melania and Barron did not immediately move into the White House from the Trump penthouse in New York City after Trump's inauguration in order to let Barron finish out the school year before switching homesteads, according to CNN.

Donald Trump and Barron might largely lead separate lives

Indeed, when it comes to what little we know about presidential son Barron Trump, almost all of the scant few details about his personal life are linked to his mother, First Lady Melania Trump, rather than to his father, President Donald Trump. Part of that may have to do with the fact that both POTUS and FLOTUS lead largely separate lives, as both White House insiders and some biographical experts claim. 

In the unauthorized 2019 biography Free, Melaniaauthor and journalist Kate Bennett revealed that not only do Trump and the first lady allegedly sleep in separate bedrooms, but live in entirely different quarters in the White House. (According to Yahoo!, Melania, through her rep, denied the accusation of sleeping in different rooms.) As the book claims, Melania's purported private living space, which is located on a separate floor, is also where Barron himself resides. 

It's also not the first time Barron's living arrangements have included such a distinct separation from his father's. According to reports by news outlets like The Hollywood Reporter, the youngest of the Trump brood previously had his own private floor in the Trump Tower Penthouse, located in New York City. But even though the Trump family's living arrangements might be unusual or unconventional at best, do they necessarily serve as a barometer for the relationship between the president and Barron? 

Donald Trump has been protective of his son Barron in the past

While the unusual aspects of the Trump family's dynamics might lead some to interpret the relationship between President Donald Trump and his son, 14-year-old Barron Trump, as feasibly distant or considerably limited, there's also evidence to suggest that it's a little more complex than what meets the eye. 

Perhaps the best example is Trump's perceived protective streak for his son, an attribute which came to the forefront in 2017 after comedian Kathy Griffin, in a miscalculated attempt to show her disdain for the president, posted photos and a video which showed Griffin holding a likeness of his severed head. After the post went viral, it was reported that Barron had come across the graphic photos, and was subsequently (and understandably) traumatized by the images. Though Griffin later publicly apologized for the incident after a sizable public bipartisan backlash, it did little to assuage Trump's rage, which he later vocalized in a series of tweets. 

"Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself," Trump tweeted at the time. "My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!"

Despite Trump's attempt to point out the traumatic ramifications of Griffin's post on the young Barron, Griffin later questioned the veracity of his claim and his motives behind it after the image was later used in an ad by the GOP in relation to the Republican National Convention, per Deadline.

According to experts, Donald Trump's body language projects 'pride' for his son Barron

While Donald Trump's protectiveness of his son Barron Trump could be interpreted in a number of ways, one body language expert revealed her opinion about the pair's relationship.

In a June 2020 article published by The Express on the president and Melania Trump's conflicting parenting styles, body language and communications expert Judi James stated that the way in which Trump has posed with Barron while having their photos taken in public suggests a type of pride — one in which, during Barron's pre-adolescent years, manifested in showing him off.

"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," James said of pictures of Trump and his son taken at the beginning of Trump's first term in the Oval Office. Things changed, however, when Barron got older.

"Finally, 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," James told The Express, describing the purported evolution of their relationship. While James might be confident in her assessment, at least one White House insider says something quite to the contrary. 

Is Donald Trump an 'absentee' father?

In 2018, journalist Michael Wolff's tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House might have originally been intended to serve as a scathing indictment of how Donald Trump's behavior within the confines of the West Wing has affected domestic and foreign policy at large, but it also brought attention to an entirely different factor: the way Trump allegedly functions as a family patriarch. Wolff's book painted an unflattering picture, to say the least.

"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,'" Wolff wrote, per the International Business Times.

Considering the scant amount of information we have about Donald Trump and his relationship with Barron, one thing remains seemingly clear: we'll never truly know unless Barron decides to go public about them himself.