The last time an American president had a son growing up in the White House, The Beatles were an unknown Liverpool band, and the Berlin Wall had only begun construction. That boy was John F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the iconic JFK, of course. The year was 1961.
Not until 2017 would another young man grace 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A long string of older presidents like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan had mostly grown children. George W. Bush had only daughters. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, too. But finally, after nearly 60 years, Barron Trump — side by side with parents Donald and Melania Trump — uneasily made his way to the White House.
Barron was only 10 years old on his first day as first son, looking understandably overwhelmed by the Inauguration Day crowds and pomp. He’s kept a “low profile” since then, notes NBC News. At least until now, as the world is starting to notice the burgeoning and handsome young man in the people’s house. But he’s obviously doing his best to navigate a very strange situation to which very few people alive can relate. First kids have a lot on their plate, close as they are to the nasty business of grown-up politics, and they don’t always come out unscathed. So, Barron Trump’s life today, despite his parents’ best efforts to keep him protected, is somewhat complicated.
Barron Trump got COVID-19
It was major news when Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 following his presidential debate with Democrat candidate Joe Biden in September 2020. But the infection was part of a larger outbreak at the White House that afflicted many staff. Unfortunately, both Melania Trump and young Barron Trump also came down with the disease, according to The Washington Post.
After Melania got the news about her diagnosis, she had the same reaction as any mother. “Naturally my mind went immediately to our son,” Melania shared while recapping her battle with coronavirus via the White House’s website. Revealing that fortunately, like many teenagers, Barron was asymptomatic, she added, “Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms.” The former model went on to write about the bonding family experience of this incredibly scary event: “In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative.”
Barron has attended a K-12 private school in the Washington D.C. area called St. Andrew’s Episcopal School since 2017, according to CNN, where he was set to begin his freshman year at the time. Due to COVID-19 concerns, though, the school began the year online-only, implementing a plan for in-person academics starting in October 2020. It was a weird beginning to high school for young Barron, but he would thankfully get to reunite with his friends and with the confidence of some immunity.
Barron Trump is really tall now
When Barron Trump emerged from Air Force One with his father, Donald Trump, in August 2020 — for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began — it was hard to believe how incredibly tall he’d gotten. It felt like just yesterday, a 10-year-old Barron was accompanying his presidential dad on Inauguration Day. Well, watch out pops, there’s a new man of the house.
Barron’s height is not exactly known — so comparisons are in order. Donald’s doctor claims he measures in at 6’3″, according to USA Today. At one time, perhaps this was true: This Nicki Swift scribe used to cover The Apprentice press conferences at Trump Tower, and no doubt, POTUS Trump is a large and imposing man. Someone standing 6’1″ was definitely looking somewhat up at him. But at age 74 in 2020, it’s plausible gravity may have done him dirty, as a more recent photo from the G7 summit shows The Donald appearing shorter than the credibly 6’2″ Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
So, let’s say 6’0″ even for POTUS 45 as a minimum. That still makes Barron’s towering appearance next to his own tall father almost unbelievable. Melania Trump is supposedly 5’11”, so the speculation is that Barron, only 14 at the time, is already 6’6″! That’s the same height as NBA GOAT Michael Jordan. Most boys keep growing until about age 16, according to Healthline. If Barron really is 6’6″, and you enter his current exact age into an online adult height calculator, could potentially end up as tall as 6’10”?
Barron Trump is under attack
Many among the mainstream media, Hollywood celebrities, and academia hold disdain for Donald Trump. That’s not exactly a secret — and the feeling is definitely mutual. But unfortunately, some have dragged an innocent child into things.
Even before Barron Trump was in the White House, Rosie O’Donnell was criticized for baselessly insinuating that he was autistic. In 2020, Jezebel appeared to frame the president’s affection for his son as, well, odd, with the headline: “Trump Calls Son Barron ‘Tall’ and ‘Handsome’ In Bizarre Ramble.” Speaking of Barron’s quick recovery from COVID-19, The Donald did get somewhat Seussian, saying, “My Barron. My tall Barron. He’s very tall. My beautiful Barron. Handsome. He is handsome. But my beautiful Barron had it. He recovered, like, so fast.” But expressing love for your own child is apparently not that “bizarre,” as the site later changed its headline following mild backlash.
During DJT’s 2019 impeachment hearing, Barron got another unfortunate shoutout. Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan said in her testimony, “So while a president can name his son Barron, he can’t MAKE him a Barron.” The joke bombed, however, as it turns out entering a 13-year-old boy into the impeachment record wasn’t that necessary. Melania Trump hit back on Twitter, and Karlan apologized later in the hearing with, “It was wrong of me to do that,” but couldn’t get through the mea culpa without another shot at Barron’s father: “I wish the president would apologize for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.”
Barron Trump beats a Hollywood bully
Actor Peter Fonda was a counter culture icon in the 1960s. He wrote and starred in the groundbreaking 1969 cult classic, Easy Rider, about three stoner hippies motorcycling aimlessly across America — only to be pointlessly gunned-down by rifle-toting rednecks with bad teeth.
Fonda and sister Jane Fonda — who infamously posed for a regrettable photo op with communist militants in a misbegotten protest of the Vietnam War — are none-the-less progressive icons. But in 2018, Peter took his disdain for conservatives out on a child, tweeting in all caps (via Snopes), “WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF MOTHER WILL STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT A**HOLE SHE IS MARRIED TO…”
An outraged Melania Trump reported Peter Fonda to the secret service, according to People. Donald Trump was justifiably angry, too. Realizing that young Barron Trump was obviously not involved in a controversial zero-tolerance US-Mexico border policy, Fonda issued an apology (via CBS News): “I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it.” For his part, Barron never had to say a word.
The White House told the media to back off of Barron Trump
Peter Fonda wasn’t the first entertainment figure to take a swipe at the president’s youngest son. On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, a veteran Saturday Night Live writer named Katie Rich tweeted that the then-10-year-old Barron Trump “will be the country’s first homeschool shooter,” according to Business Insider.
As swift backlash engulfed Rich, she deleted the tweet and later apologized: “I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.” However, the damage was done, and Rich was suspended from SNL indefinitely, per Deadline.
At the time, the White House felt like it needed to take a stand and back off the Barron bashers. “It is a longstanding tradition that the children of presidents are afforded the opportunity to grow up outside of the political spotlight,” the statement read, as noted by Business Insider. “The White House fully expects this tradition to continue. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”
Chelsea Clinton came to Barron Trump's defense
If anyone knows what it’s like growing up in the White House, it’s Chelsea Clinton. “I’ve had so much vitriol flung at me for as long as I can literally remember, people saying awful things to me even as a child,” she told The Guardian in 2018. The daughter of POTUS 42 was only 12 years old when her dad, Bill Clinton, took over the Oval Office.
Conservative radio goliath Rush Limbaugh immediately compared Chelsea to a dog, in at least two separate instances, according to Snopes. There’s even video receipts. Limbaugh later made a sneering faux apology where he went further: “She may be the most unattractive presidential daughter in the history of the country.” Wow. “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly?” the late Senator John McCain also allegedly quipped in 1998 to a group of fundraisers. “Because Janet Reno is her father.” This remark comes via The Guardian, only because The Washington Post thought it “too vile to repeat.”
For her part, Chelsea took to her Facebook page in 2017 to defend Donald Trump’s youngest son, writing, “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does — to be a kid.” She went further on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast, saying (via the Independent) that she feels “very protective” of Barron, adding, “Don’t objectify this kid. I think he just turned 14 … I have a whole lot of sympathy for any critiques, criticism, pain, anger you want to hurl at his parents. But leave him alone.”
Barron Trump is a man of the world
Anyone who has tried to bang their head against a wall learning a foreign language as an adult envies the advantage of having a mother like Melania Trump. The first lady was born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, and began working as a model in Milan, Paris, and New York in the 1990s, according to Biography. Because of that international lineage, Barron Trump grew up in a worldly household. “He talks three languages,” Melania told People in 2009. “He speaks my language — Slovenian — English and French.”
Being trilingual has also provided a blooming Barron some small measure of privacy in the White House, even with the watchful Secret Service always skulking. Melania’s parents also spend a lot of time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, doting on their grandson. When that side of Barron’s family is together, they all speak Slovenian, according to author Mary Jordan in her book, The Art of Her Deal (via CBS News). “And it’s kind of interesting,” writes Jordan, “the Secret Service has no idea what they’re saying.”
Barron Trump's a sneakerhead
Barron Trump the hype beast? Well, kinda. Barron has his absolute go-to sneakers, and it’s definitely a chic and understated retro look: the New Balance 574 Core, usually in black, according to Footwear News. The kicks only run about $80, but this first kid has them in a variety of colors, like a true sneakerhead. Barron usually pairs them with neat black slacks and a little pop of color in a fitted bomber, like his favorite green Alpha Industries Skymaster — which can be had by anyone with Amazon Prime for $150.
But that’s not to say Barron won’t step it up a little. He strode off Air Force One in August 2020, towering over father Donald Trump, as per usual, with an even more vintage, 50’s-style bomber from Moncler. The jacket, with a signature black patch, goes for nearly $800. Barron even appeared to bump up the sneaker game at the time with these low profile Italian kicks called The Lucente, which retail for about $228.
Barron Trump was a very swaggy baby
Everyone still talks about that incredible fruit salad your Aunt Genie brought to your christening. What a blessed affair. Barron Trump, on the other hand, had mega celebrities dropping off swag.
Ellen DeGeneres, known to give a gift or two, sent Melania Trump this insanely ornate gilded stroller, complete with its own crystalline chandelier. Featured in a comically air-brushed photo spread of Donald Trump and his third wife with their new arrival, per People, the future first lady was gaga for the on-brand gift: “It’s fun, it makes you laugh.” Certainly, it blends in with the rest of the Trumps’ baroque $100 million Fifth Avenue Manhattan penthouse. DeGeneres also sent “gazillions of onesies,” according to People. The onesies featured some of The Donald’s catchphrases, like “You’re fired!” or “You’re hired!” Meanwhile, designer Dennis Basso gifted a white mink blanket, and Barbara Walters dished a giant stuffed dog.
However, none of this went to Barron’s cute little head. The president says his youngest was a well-behaved newborn. Despite a caretaker on staff and lavish in-home nursery, baby Barron tended to sleep in a crib next to his mom and dad. “I don’t sleep much anyway,” Donald admitted. “So if he cries, that’s fine.” The sleepless Trump also liked feeding young Barron early in the morning, too, but would leave cleanup for mom. “Over the years I have changed a diaper,” Donald revealed, “but not on Barron.” Um, delegation is key?
Barron Trump is Donald Trump's 'mini me'
Beyond being the president’s little bundle of joy, Barron Trump really likes mirroring his old man. And the feeling is somewhat mutual. Barron, the name at least, was actually one Donald Trump used to rely on when calling up media outlets posing as a publicist for himself — the infamous John Barron, according to The Washington Post. So the name has been a Trump family favorite since the 1980s.
From an early age, the real Barron took to imitating his famous dad. “He’s not a sweatpants child,” Melania Trump said of a then-7-year-old Barron to ABC News in 2013. “He doesn’t mind putting on [a suit] — but not every day — and he likes to dress up in a tie sometimes like daddy.” The proud mom went on to say, “He has a lot of energy and is very cute.” That first part is definitely familiar, as Barron’s father, in his 70s, has a schedule that would bring a human half his age to their knees.
“Sometimes I call him little Donald,” Melania later told Parenting (via Romper). “He is a mixture of us in looks, but his personality is why I call him little Donald.”
Barron Trump loves sports
Presidential golfing has become controversial. Sites are now tracking the supposed $142 million taxpayer cost of Barron Trump’s dad, Donald Trump, hitting the links. But if you’re a kid in the White House, those steep green fees are all Gucci. Barron and Donald have been pictured high-fiving on the tee box all the way back to when he was just 8 years old. The youngest Trump kid is still golfing with dad, and his game is developing. “I’ve seen Barron out there with him on a few occasions and he’s a good athlete by his own right,” a source told Politico.
Soccer has been young Barron’s biggest sports passion, though. He was even snapped practicing in his uniform and shin guards on the White House lawn as D.C. United visited in 2017. “He was very knowledgeable about soccer, knew about D.C. United and was interested to know more,” team forward Patrick Mullins said of Barron to The Washington Post.
In fact, later that year, Barron joined D.C. United’s “U-12” team. He was a midfielder and wore number 81 on his jersey, according to Bleacher Report. He absolutely towered over the other kids on the field and had a nifty knack to find the net with his left foot. However, it seems Barron lost a bit of interest in the game. He switched teams to the Arlington Soccer Association for the following two seasons, but played only five more games total.
Barron Trump is already a little diplomat
There’s a fascinating history of foreign leaders bringing wacky swag to occupants of the White House — like the baby elephant gifted to Ronald Reagan in 1984. The animal died two months later of a “mysterious” illness, according to The New York Times. In 2018, Barron Trump’s dad got what amounts to a tree branch from French President Emmanuel Macron, honoring American sacrifices from a bloody battle in Belleau Wood during World War I, explains The Washington Post.
These interesting gifts sometimes also extend to kids of presidents. But what to get a boy who already has all the sneakers he can wear? Well, in 2019, Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga came bearing an actual live horse for the then-13-year-old Barron. The animal’s name is Victory, which was apparently decided by dad Donald Trump, per NBC News. At the time, then White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted out that the first family was “very grateful” for the “traditional gift,” but then revealed the horse “will remain in Mongolia.”
But it’s just as well. Gifts given to American presidents and their families by foreign countries technically belong to the American people and become a part of the National Archive when a POTUS leaves office. So, congratulations everyone! You now own roughly 1/331,000,000th of a hypothetical Mongolian horse.
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