What We Know About Donald Trump's Relationship With His Kids

Donald Trump has kept himself busy since exiting the White House in 2020. With the news of his re-election campaign, becoming the first-ever former president to be indicted on criminal charges, and his ongoing feud with Florida governor Ron DeSantis, Trump seems to have quite a bit on his plate. With all the fires Trump is putting out recently, he might not have much time left to spend with his five children.

Donald Trump has five children altogether: Three with his first wife, Ivana Trump, one with his second wife Marla Maples, and his youngest with his current wife Melania Trump. Unsurprisingly, the Trump kids live insanely lavish lives, but does all that wealth and time in the spotlight make for a great relationship with their father? Given the constant controversy that has swirled around Donald Trump and his children, including multiple lawsuits investigating alleged fraud committed by the Trump Organization, it's easy to assume that their relationship may have been rocky in recent years. According to the Trump children themselves, they have fond memories of their father during childhood.

Eric Trump, the former president's second son, admitted that their father did his best to protect their privacy while growing up. Eric told People, "...he's always had thousands of cameras on him and yet we were raised as normal kids, or at least as normal as you could be raised under the circumstances." But as adults, each one of Trump's kids has a distinctly different relationship with their famous father.

Donald Trump Jr.

Being the eldest son in any family unit often comes with its challenges, and that difficult role becomes even more complicated when you're born into a famous family. Donald Trump Jr. has been very vocal about his love and support for his dad over the years, but we're not so sure those feelings are mutual. In Ivana Trump's memoir, "Raising Trump," she shared that Donald Trump worried about his son being a "loser." According to Trump's first wife, the soon-to-be father was hesitant to pass down his namesake and had to be convinced by Ivana to share his well-known name.

Rumors have swirled over the years that Don Jr. did not react well to his parent's divorce and even made an effort to avoid his father for a whole year, per GQ. In recent years, Don Jr. has begun to follow in his father's footsteps, becoming executive vice president of the Trump Organization. But in a testimony made by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, he revealed that Trump did not trust his first born son to make any decisions within the company without first getting his father's approval. When asked about Don Jr.'s role in the company dynamic, Cohen told the House committee, "he would never let Don [take meetings] by himself."

Ivanka Trump

If anyone ever wondered who the favorite of Donald Trump's five children is, all signs point to Ivanka Trump. As the eldest Trump daughter, Ivanka has taken on her fair share of responsibilities in the family business but also made a name for herself by expanding her own brand of luxury fashion goods and accessories. Trump Sr. has sung his daughter's praises over the years by sometimes crossing an uncomfortable line.

It is no secret that the former model and daughter of Ivana Trump is a beautiful woman, and her father takes pride in that fact. In an infamous 2006 interview on The View, Trump admitted, "I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her." This was not the first or last time Trump publicly admired his daughter, although recent developments have no doubt put a damper on their father-daughter dynamic. Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner took a step back from their involvement in Trump's political endeavors back in 2021 after being subpoenaed. In testimony regarding the 2020 election, Ivanka shared that she saw no evidence of election fraud. The New York Times reported that her father was extremely unhappy with her comments. In response to speculation that Ivanka or her husband would be involved in his next election, Donald Trump cleared the air on Truth Social, writing, "I never asked Jared or Ivanka to be part of the 2024 campaign for president and, in fact, specifically asked them not to do it."

Eric Trump

Eric Trump, the second-born son to Donald and Ivana Trump, grew up under the shadow of his real estate tycoon father and ambitious older brother. In an interview with The New York Times back in 2006, the third-born Trump claimed that his older brother was his biggest influence, saying of Trump, "My father, I love and I appreciate, but he always worked 24 hours a day." The father and son may not have much in common — One of Eric's favorite pastimes is hunting with his older brother, but Donald Trump himself once told CNN, "I've never understood [hunting] ... it's not me." While Eric isn't the closest with his father, he has remained one of his most active supporters, even embarrassing himself at times to express his love.

At a political rally in February 2022, Eric called his father on the phone while speaking to a large crowd of supporters. The Trump son publicly confessed his love on speaker, saying, "I speak on behalf of every single person here: They love you, I love you, we're proud of you." His father took a moment before responding with a hearty, "Thank you very much." Clearly, the two Trump men are not exactly in sync. Even still, Eric remains a vocal advocate for his father's financial and political dreams even after all of the recent Trump controversies – the second-born Trump son is extremely active on social media, constantly defending his father's actions and responding to critics in interviews.

Tiffany Trump

Tiffany Trump is Donald Trump's only child with second wife Marla Maples, who he had an affair with during his first marriage to Ivana. The youngest Trump daughter has a reputation for being left out; she is the only one of Trump's adult children to not work for the family business and is more often overlooked than her famous half-siblings. While Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka remained in the spotlight most of their lives, it wasn't until recently that Tiffany made consistent public appearances with the rest of the Trump gang. Marla Maples shared with People that Trump did not spend much time with Tiffany at all while she was growing up, and felt that his financial contributions were enough to earn the title of "good dad."

Tiffany has gone on record saying that she and her family are very close, although her father's comments imply that he expects less of Tiffany than his other children. Trump once discussed his children on Fox News, mentioning Tiffany merely as a footnote. The former president stated, "I'm very proud because Don and Eric and Ivanka and — you know, to a lesser extent 'cause she just got out of school, out of college — but, uh, Tiffany ..." Clearly, Trump has not always been the picture of perfect fatherhood when it comes to his second daughter. At Tiffany's wedding this past November, her father walked her down the aisle but struggled not to discuss his own political affairs during her special day.

Barron Trump

The youngest Trump son is definitely the most elusive of the former president's children. As the only child with his current wife Melania Trump, Barron Trump entered the White House at age 11 when his father was elected into office. Per Politico, both parents claimed that they wanted to maintain a sense of normalcy for Barron, although his normal prior to the 2016 election included the young child's very own floor of Trump Tower in New York City. Many of Barron's most influential years coincided with his father's time as president, so naturally, they did not see very much of each other. Barron only made rare public appearances during the Trump presidency and is not mentioned by his father nearly as often as Trump's three oldest children.

While Trump is clearly protective of his son's right to privacy as a minor, he has not made too many public comments about the now 17-year-old. Daily Mail reported that Barron Trump once attended his father's rally where Trump gave him a shoutout, saying, "Barron will be great someday ... he's tall." Truthfully, Donald Trump's relationship with Barron seems to be the most complicated of all five children. As of now, Barron himself has not made any public statements about his relationship with his father. Only time will tell if he becomes more vocal about growing up in the White House when he enters adulthood.