What You Didn't Know About Lara Trump

To say that Donald Trump and his family members are controversial figures is an understatement. To some, the multimillionaires are heroes to the everyday man and are "draining the swamp" of politically established systems. To others, they have used money, alleged bullying tactics, and nepotism to get ahead. No matter where you fall on the Trump-loving/hating spectrum, it's clear that the family's ongoings are incredibly eye-catching, at times frustrating, and in some cases, flat-out bonkers. It's no wonder so many of us have done a deep dive into Donald's empire, trying to find out everything there is to know about the former president, his children, and his extended family. 

While there is no Trump in the White House at present (although that status could change in 2024), the reality star turned commander-in-chief is just as much in the headlines now as he was while in office, leaving a library full of articles to comb through in our quest for answers.

Perhaps even more fascinating than Donald himself are the Trumps who married into the family. Sure, the former president and his kids have been on the celebrity scene for decades, but what about the people who joined the family by marriage? We're talking about Jared Kushner, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Lara Trump — the three spouses (or spouses-to-be, in Guilfoyle's case) who are attached to Donald's three eldest children, who he shared with the late Ivana Trump. While a lot is known about Kushner and Guilfoyle is a celeb in her own right, not as much is known about Lara, Eric Trump's wife since 2014. So, naturally, we did a deep dive into her life.

She joined Fox News after her father-in-law left office

When the conservative network Fox News started pushing the idea of a Donald Trump campaign well before many took the "Celebrity Apprentice" host seriously as a candidate, Donald quickly became a solid fan. However, as many now know, his perspective of Fox News soured when the network didn't wholeheartedly support his claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, leaving him frustrated with the channel he once swore by, per reports from The Guardian.

So what does all of this have to do with Lara Trump? As also noted by The Guardian, she joined the ranks at Fox News after her father-in-law left office, signaling that the ice may be thawing between the network and the Trump dynasty.

"Welcome to the family, Lara," a Fox News host greeted Eric Trump's wife upon her first on-air appearance as a paid contributor. "I'm so excited, first of all, to be joining the Fox family," she said in return. "I sort of feel like I've been an unofficial member of the team for so long, you guys know, it was kind of a joke, over the past five years I would come there so often that the security guards were like, 'Maybe we should just give you a key.' So to be part of the team, I'm so, so excited."

Lara came under fire for saying she felt bad for Joe Biden

Amid her father-in-law's administration and campaign, Lara Trump was a regular fixture. Eric Trump's wife was outspoken in her support of Donald Trump — and subsequently, she took aim at his 2020 rival, Joe Biden. Some have noted that there are elements of both Biden and Donald's public lives that point to a decline in mental acuity and relative sharpness as compared to their younger counterparts.

While on the road in Iowa, Lara took aim at this particular facet of Biden's public persona, saying (via USA Today), "I'm supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes on stage, and they turned to him, I'm like, 'Joe, can you get it out? Let's get the words out, Joe.' You kind of feel bad for him."

Lara's comments were quickly perceived as a blow below the belt, with famed airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger writing his own opinion column in The New York Times about how he too suffered from a stutter.

Lara Trump went to culinary school

It may come as quite a shock that Lara Trump went to culinary school. In fact, she even started a baking business as a result of her training. As noted by Cosmopolitan, Lara made the move from her home state of North Carolina to New York, as she had been accepted at the French Culinary Institute. In the Big Apple, she studied the art of pastry making for over a year, and then took her skills to the next level.

Founding her own business, she ran Lara Lea Confections from 2009 to 2010, noting the confectionary's presence on her LinkedIn. She even shared photos of her baked creations on Flickr. Of her designs, ranging from cartoon characters to sports jerseys to Chanel handbags, Lara made it clear that her creativity channeled itself into cake baking and decorating. While her business didn't last very long, Lara told Wrightsville Beach Magazine in 2007 — in a since-deleted article — that her dessert side hustle was "a great way to use my creative side." While Lara Lea Confections is no longer in business, we can imagine that she makes some pretty amazing cakes for her kids' birthday parties.

She helped score her brother a job in the energy department

Amid all the drama and scandal that plagued Donald Trump's White House, one of the biggest overarching claims was that the administration was riddled with nepotism. Giving jobs to his eldest daughter, son-in-law, and other relatives, Donald made it clear that his administration would be a family-led affair. In fact, not only was Lara Trump a consistent presence on the campaign trail and in the White House, but her father-in-law's presence in the White House helped out her own brother in a very big way.

Kyle Yunaska, Lara's brother (and Eric Trump's brother-in-law), was given a job at the Department of Energy amid Donald's time in office, being named to the department as part of a group of "temporary political appointees," per Axios. Not only was the decision eyebrow-raising given Yunaska's connection to the Trump family, it was particularly alarming due to his lack of professional experience. Working largely as a tax analyst and accounting manager (as well as appearing on the 2013 "hottest bachelors" contest on "Inside Edition," a show his sister used to work on), Yunaska had no tangible experience for such an appointment — so his presence at the Energy Department seemed pretty fishy.

Lara never intended to marry into such a high-profile family

When we think of the Trump children and their significant others, perhaps the first couple that comes to mind is Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Ivanka has, of course, been in the spotlight for decades, but Jared is no stranger to life in the fast lane, either. His family's New York real estate firm has a portfolio valued at $15 billion, per The Wall Street Journal. The pairing just seemed like an obvious — and wealthy — fit. 

But as for Lara Trump and Eric Trump, their upbringings couldn't have been more different, as Lara never anticipated marrying into such a prominent family. Coming from a middle-class family, she said of her union with Eric, "I'm a girl from North Carolina who really has no business even being involved with this family. But I just so happened to fall in love with a guy, we clicked, and it worked," according to Star News Online.

Of their initial encounter, Lara revealed that the two "just happened to be out in the same place at the same time in New York." What's more, she didn't even get Eric's last name, but was taken by the fact that he was taller than her, even in her high heels. After three months of going back and forth with calendar issues and time management, the two finally went on their first date. Even then, Lara admitted that she didn't have high expectations, but then said, "It ended up being the best date I've ever been on."

Lara surprisingly worked in the journalism industry

If Donald Trump made one thing very clear during his presidency, it was his distaste for the news industry. Regularly calling storied publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post "fake news" — amid a flurry of other nicknames – Donald left nothing to the imagination when it came to his disdain for journalism. With that said, it may surprise you to learn that his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, worked for Inside Edition for almost five years.

Per Lara's LinkedIn, she joined Inside Edition in January 2012 as a story coordinator, and after almost two years in that role, was promoted to associate producer. Staying in that capacity for just over three years, Lara spent a total of four years and 11 months with the outlet — a role certainly not for the faint of heart, given her father-in-law's perspective on the media.

Ahead of the 2016 election, Lara took a leave from her role at the CBS show to focus on Donald's campaign, telling Port City Daily, "I wasn't going to have the time to adequately dedicate to this." Further saying that working in the news industry was becoming increasingly difficult, she revealed, "When they're reporting on your family on the show you work for, it's a little challenging." Lara has yet to return to CBS as of publication.

Eric's wife held a number of high-profile meetings within the White House

As we've mentioned, there was a certain degree of nepotism within Donald Trump's White House that was concerning to political insiders. As Newsweek reported, Lara Trump was a consistent presence in her father-in-law's administration and campaigns. While she was known for her public support, she also worked behind the scenes in a bit of an alarming capacity — especially for someone without political experience or Washington, D.C. know-how. As it turns out, Lara had been the host of a number of "high-level meetings within the White House," as she was trying to lobby for different domestic policy issues. She also met with a number of Cabinet nominees, taking them to the Roosevelt Room to discuss issues in a roundtable setting. Political watchdogs called her efforts "a clear crossing of the well-established line between campaign work and public service," and didn't stop there.

"I cannot remember something like that ever happening in my time," David Gergen, a storied presidential adviser who lent his efforts to four different administrations across the political spectrum, told Newsweek. "This White House is being run like a family business, and campaigning is their bread and butter."

Lara has her sights set on her own political run

Since Donald Trump left office in January 2021, he's been floating around the notion of another political run in the future; however, he isn't the only Trump who is said to have ambitions for public office. While rumors have circulated around Ivanka Trump and her future as a political candidate (via Politico), Lara Trump has also made it clear that a campaign of her own is on her mind. As noted by The New York Times in late 2020, she was eyeing a run in her home state of North Carolina, potentially looking to unseat Senator Richard Burr.

"She's very charismatic, she understands retail politics well, and has a natural instinct for politics," Mercedes Schlapp, a campaign adviser who traveled with Lara, told The Times. "In North Carolina, in particular, she's a household name and people know her. She worked really hard on the campaign and was very involved in a lot of decisions throughout."

And while Lara's name was definitely floated around as a contender in the 2022 midterm race, she finally announced that she would not be seeking Burr's seat this time around, given the fact that she still has two small children at home (via Insider). "I am saying no for now," Lara told onlookers at the GOP state convention in North Carolina. "Not no forever."

She found out she was pregnant with her first child on a special day

Finding out you're pregnant is often a whirlwind of an experience. It's safe to say that Eric and Lara Trump were happy when they found out she was pregnant with their first child, and the timing of the news made a celebratory day that much more special. 

As noted by People, Lara received a positive pregnancy test on none other than Eric's birthday, with him saying it "was pretty cool." Of her first two trimesters, which by the time the news broke had already passed, Lara shared that the beginning weeks were rough. "I was exhausted in the beginning," Lara said. "It surprised me, because I'm a very active person, and until the fatigue hit, I didn't believe it would actually happen to me. It really affected me. But I'm feeling really good now."

Of her husband, Lara shared that he would make "an amazing dad" and was already the "cool uncle" in his nieces' and nephews' lives. As of publication, Eric and Lara have two children.

Lara aligned herself with animal rights, but her involvement came with a catch

It's not uncommon for politicians — and their spouses, of course — to take on social issues amid their presence in the public eye. As many know, first ladies have a history of spearheading causes close to their hearts, such as healthy eating among schoolchildren (Michelle Obama's cause) and cyberbullying (Melania Trump's cause). While Lara Trump is not a first lady, she has taken it upon herself to align her name with certain causes that are important to her — most notably, animal rights. As noted by Politico, Lara partnered with the Beagle Freedom Project back in 2017, leading its organizers to believe that animal rights would become a central component of her father-in-law's administration.

And while Lara may have been able to chat with Donald Trump about animal rights, her efforts were tied to a rather controversial group. The Beagle Freedom Project is led by Kevin Chase, who spent six years in prison after being charged with the harassment and stalking of researchers, Politico noted. Chase went so far as to admit that he had not "disclosed his criminal background" to Lara before she signed onto the cause, admitting that unless he is in front of Congress or speaking on the record, he doesn't bring up his part.

She was allegedly making $180,000 a year from the Trump campaign alone

Unless you've been completely living in your own world and not paying attention to politics or the news or social media, chances are you had some inclination that Trump equals money. Donald Trump spent decades cultivating a real estate empire (via The New York Times) — and a reputation as the billionaire businessman who spared no expense. And while the reality of that may be more smoke and mirrors than champagne and crystals, there is still a lot of money being handled and passed down to members of his family thanks to his political interests. Namely, Lara Trump — who was always an informal adviser to the White House — allegedly received upward of $15,000 a month for her work, two GOP sources anonymously told HuffPost.

Lara was paid by Bradley Parscale, Donald's campaign manager, through his own company rather than directly by the campaign. This way, HuffPost noted, the payments wouldn't have to be reported to the public. Of the questionable legality surrounding the reported $180,000 annual boost to Lara's income, Parscale said, "I can pay them however I want to pay them," refusing to comment any further. Of the campaign, however, legal expert Paul Ryan did tell HuffPost that "a lot of people close to Donald Trump are getting rich off of his campaign."

Eric's wife was featured prominently on Donald Trump's YouTube page amid his presidency

While Bill Clinton's presidency was marked by the introduction of the internet, and Barack Obama's administration was the first one in which social media played a major role (per Stanford), Donald Trump all but redefined presidential communication (via Northeastern). His Twitter account alone was used more as a source for news than it was for official announcements about his administration, and followers flocked to the platform to get the buzz on the president, much like they would visit TMZ for hot celebrity gossip. And amid Donald's unprecedented presidential communication was his YouTube channel, which heavily featured Lara Trump in a segment called Real News Insights.

Throughout the more than 100 episodes, Lara would break down the topics of the day, often joined by guests. From Matt Gaetz to Rudy Giuliani to Lindsey Graham, the channel served as a direct link from the Trump family to avid supporters. Although some videos didn't garner many views, Lara was and is an integral member of the Trump family, and we certainly haven't seen the last of her.