On June 21, 2016, I attended a unique event: a gathering of Evangelicals in New York City to meet privately with Donald Trump. Originally intended for a few hundred invitees, the gathering grew to 1000, including a handful of Catholics.Share
I was one of them.
While Trump addressed scores of issues of concern to his audience, I found his comments regarding children remarkable and worthy of focused comment.
Even Trump’s harshest critics concede that Trump’s relationship to his children impresses. “At 69, he’s a father of five and grandfather to eight, and despite three marriages – two of which ended in tabloid frenzies – he has remarkably strong relationship with all of his adult children.”
So extraordinary is Trump as father, former Presidential candidate Michael Huckabee opened the June 21 meeting with the following observation and question, which I quote in length.
Before we go to the individual questions, there’s something that I want to say to you and ask you to respond to it. Because it’s something that I saw, in a way that most people would not have seen. Because if they weren’t on the stage during the presidential debates and also backstage, they would not have seen what I saw, what Ben Carson saw.Well known to the public, Trump, in fact, has five children: Donald Jr. (38), Ivanka (34), Eric (32), Tiffany (22) and Barron (10). Trump had the first of his three children with his first wife, Ivana Trump – who both supports and advises him in his run for President. Tiffany, Trump had with his second wife, Marla Maples. Says Maples, “He’s a wonderful father; he loves his children.” His youngest son, rising 5th grader Barron, receives the full attention of Trump’s current wife and Barron’s mother Melania. She “makes it clear that her main priority is being a mom. ‘Barron needs somebody as a parent, so I am with him all of the time.’ Although there’s a household staff, Melania says she does not have a nanny” (TIME, Donald Trump, p. 37).
The relationship that you have with your family, the relationship and bond that you have with your adult children, is one of the most admirable I’ve ever seen from any father with children. People can fake it onstage — they can walk out and do a happy family moment — but you can’t fake that backstage, over and over again. What I saw was real.
And it was one of the reasons that I have had no hesitation endorsing you, supporting you, and enthusiastically encouraging people to get behind your candidacy. We’re going to talk about a lot of issues. But I want you to begin today by expressing: What is it about the relationship you have with your children that is so special? What is that bond all about?
Trump’s adult children are each credentialed and ambitious in their own right. Donald Jr. and Ivanka both graduated from the Wharton School of Business. Eric is a graduate of Georgetown. All three are married – Donald Jr. and his wife Vanessa have had 5 children over the last 7 years and Ivanka and Jared Kusher recently had their 3rd child. The latter family practices an orthodox Judaism that includes observing kosher rules. Tiffany, a student at the University of Pennsylvania, has released a music single “Like a Bird” and aspires to a music career. (Read more.)