Ivanka and Don Jr skip 2024 announcement as Donald Trump calls up son Eric

Not all of the former president’s family members were able or willing to make it to his long-awaited speech at Mar-a-Lago

Io Dodds
Wednesday 16 November 2022 03:50 GMT
Trump expected to announce presidential bid Tuesday

Donald Trump stood up once again before his friends, fans and followers to announce a second presidential run at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night.

But only some of the former president’s family members appared to be there with him – including some members who have disputed his election conspiracy theories.

Mr Trump's wife Melania was front and centre, arm-in-arm with her husband as he shook hands with the front ranks of the audience before his speech.

Photos showed that his second son Eric Trump, daughter-in-law Lara Trump and youngest child Barron Trump (at 16 years old) were also in attendance.

Most interestingly, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser Jarud Kushner was there too, despite previously indicating that he does not agree with Mr Trump's claims that he actually won the 2020 election.

Mr Kushner notably abstained from Mr Trump's attempt to overturn the vote, and later voluntarily testified before the January 6 investigation committee.

According to reports, he and his wife Ivanka Trump have been attempting to avoid Mr Trump’s appeals for their support in a second presidential run.

But Ivanka herself was pointedly absent from the campaign launch, telling reporters afterwards that she did not want to be “involved in politics” and subtly rejecting some of her father’s actions in office.

She said: “I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritise my young children and the private life we are creating as a family.

“I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena.

“I am grateful to have had the honour of serving the American people and I will always be proud of many of our administration’s accomplishments.”

Mr Trump's eldest child Donald Jr, meanwhile, washunting in the western US and could not return in time for the speech, although he did tweet vigorously in support of his father throughout.

Mr Trump’s daughter Tiffany was not visible either – although it seems likely that, having gotten married on Saturday, she is now on honeymoon.

‘Eric got more subpoenas than any man in history’

During his speech, Mr Trump called on his wife Melania and his son Eric to stand up and cheers applause from the audience.

“I happen to have some children in the front row – Stand up, Eric!” said Mr Trump .“I think he got more subpoenas than any man in the history of our country. So unfair.

“Al Capone got far less. Billy the kid got almost none. Jesse James, no. Eric Trump... he’s a PhD in subpoenas. I appreciate the job you do, and the abuse you’ve taken, I really do.”

Mr Trump then called on Melania. “And it hasn't been a joy ride for our great First Lady, either. It hasn’t been a joy ride,” he said. “Stand up!”

“I go home, and she says, ‘you look angry and upset’. I said, ‘just leave me alone!’” he continued, adopting a self-consciously grouchy and gloomy voice for himself.

“Hasn’t been the easiest thing, but she’s been a great First Lady, and people love her.”

The former president had been widely expected to announce a second presidential run just before the midterm elections, but stayed his hand – reportedly due to the intervention of Republican allies who feared he would boost Democratic turnout.

Since then, many in the party have blamed Mr Trump and his conspiracy theories for the GOP's failure to secure a "red wave" despite high inflation and economic gloom.

"Two years ago when I left office, the United States stood ready for its golden age," Mr Trump claimed in his speech. "Our nation was at the pinnacle of power, prosperity and prestige, towering above all rivals, vanquishing all enemies, and striding into the future, confident and so strong in four short years.

"All the incoming administration had to do was just sit back and watch ... but now we are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation. For millions of Americans, the past two years under Joe Biden has been a time of pain, hardship, anxiety and despair."

This article was updated at 7:50pm Pacific Time to add extra details and a statement from Ivanka Trump.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in