The Tragedy Of Barron Trump Explained

Over the past two and half centuries, there have been plenty of presidential children who were troublemakers. However, by all accounts, Barron Trump is not one of them. However, it's hard to be sure about anything when it comes to former president Donald Trump's youngest child, because unlike his four older siblings — Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany — he's stayed almost completely out of the public eye. 

Part of this was because Barron was a minor the entire time he lived in the White House, but that doesn't go all the way to explaining why his life is so mysterious. "Barron was really off the radar in a way that the Obama, Bush, and Clinton girls weren't," presidential historian Peter Kastor told Slate in 2024. "They were much more a part of the president's story than Barron was." It wasn't just important or personal information that was lacking, but even those small details politicians often share about their children to seem more relatable. As Kastor put it, "We got zilch about Barron. We didn't know if he liked sports or not when he was going to school. We didn't know if he was involved in any extracurricular activities."

This means that understanding Barron and the difficulties he faced growing up as a Trump and a presidential child requires relying on second-hand sources. Despite not having Barron's own words about his experiences, it's still easy to see how his life has had plenty of sadness so far.

A woman stalked Barron Trump and threatened to kill him

When an adult runs for office, especially in the current political climate, they understand that death threats are unfortunately part of the deal. During his presidency, there were several assassination attempts against Donald Trump. While it's obviously wrong to threaten a politician's life, passions inflamed by disagreeable policies can cross the line into violence, especially if mental health issues come into play. But the families of politicians have nothing to do with their jobs, and the idea anyone could want to harm a child for what their parent did is unbelievable.

Yet that was the reality for Barron Trump in 2023. As reported by The New York Post, Florida police recorded an incident where the "known stalker of a high-profile student" showed up at his high school looking for Barron. The woman was Tracy Marie Fiorenza, a 41-year-old from Chicago. According to CBS News, after turning up at Barron's school, she sent emails to the headmaster that were incredibly threatening in nature, and included threats like "I will state that I will shoot Donald Trump Sr AND Barron Trump straight in the face at any opportunity I get!" and "I am going to slam a bullet in Baron (sic) Trump's head with his father IN SELF DEFENSE!"

Fortunately, Fiorenza was arrested and charged with threatening to kill the two Trumps before she could hurt anyone.

Changing schools

Most people who were forced to change schools during childhood will probably tell you how difficult it was. Even before his dad won the presidency, Barron Trump was being prepared for a possible move from New York City to Washington, D.C. by his mom. In a 2016 interview with US Weekly, Melania Trump explained, "Of course, at that age, every child would worry, especially if they love school, if they love friends, they don't want to lose that." When Donald Trump became president-elect, Barron stayed behind with his mom in Manhattan for several months, so he at least wouldn't have to leave Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School (pictured) until the following year. "Like any parents, they are concerned about pulling their 10-year-old son out of school in the middle of the year," a Trump spokesperson explained at the time (via US Weekly).

It would not be Barron's last time leaving his friends and school behind. He spent the next four years at St. Andrew's Episcopal School near Washington, D.C., but when Joe Biden defeated his father in the 2020 presidential election, the teen was once again forced to make a big move, this time to Florida, where he enrolled at Oxbridge Academy.

However, one rumor about Barron leaving school was false. After Donald was ordered to pay almost half a billion dollars in fines in a civil trial, a Facebook post claimed he was too broke to pay for Barron's tuition, and he was kicked out. Politifact explained that, fortunately, this wasn't true.

Some have questioned his paternity

Most people can tell there is a shady side to Donald and Melania Trump's relationship — she is rarely seen with him, for one thing — but there's no reason to question that Barron Trump is related to both of them. That hasn't stopped people from speculating, however. 

On Father's Day in 2020, the comedian John Henson tweeted, "I hope Barron gets to spend today with whoever his dad is" (via People). When other Twitter (now known as X) users started calling him out for what many considered a distasteful joke about a child, Henson replied, "The joke was aimed at Trump and the mere mention of Barron's name doesn't mean it's at his expense." However, Melania clearly didn't accept that logic, and her chief of staff released a statement saying, "Sadly we continue to see inappropriate and insensitive comments about the president's son."

One person who accidentally exacerbated paternity questions was Donald himself. In 2019, he was in the Oval Office with Melania and reporters, discussing possible changes to vaping product regulations. Donald said, "And that's how the First Lady got involved. She's got a son — together — that is a — a beautiful young man. And she feels very, very strongly about it" (via Newsweek). This odd phrasing caught people's notice. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," host Mika Brzezinski expressed what many were thinking. "Maybe it is Melania's son," she said, before explaining further to her confused co-host, "That's what he was saying, it was just her son."

His exceptional height may be causing problems

Barron Trump is very tall. While it's not known for sure what his height was by the time he turned 18 in 2024, educated guesses put him at 6'7 or 6'8. This would make him almost a foot taller than the average American male. Even in a family of taller-than-average men, he towers above his family members. Donald Trump claims to be 6'3, but when talking about his son in 2020 referred to him as "My Barron. My tall Barron. He's very tall." (via Slate).

Being that tall is difficult. In 2024, Slate spoke to the essayist Nicholas Russell, who knows what it is to be 6'7. "It can be kind of tough to have your body be changing that quickly and to have it be so noticeable to people," Russell said. "To me, it's pretty apparent that [Barron] is still getting used to it and is not super comfortable. ... If he's not done growing, his life is gonna suck."

But Barron's problems might be more than physical. In 2019, when interviewing author Michael Wolff about one of his books on Trump, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell said (via Crooks and Liars), "You also report the incredibly peculiar detail that Donald Trump is reportedly jealous of his son's height because at 12 years old he's apparently growing up." Wolff claimed this was true, saying, "[Donald's] jealous of everyone's height. He never lets himself be in a photograph with someone taller than he is."

There have been attacks on his appearance over the years

There are plenty of rules the First Family of the United States has to follow, but dress codes for underage children are not one of them. This didn't stop one writer for the right-wing outlet The Daily Caller from calling out the then-11-year-old Barron Trump for wearing the above outfit in 2017. Ford Springer wrote (via BBC News), "Barron was returning to the White House from New Jersey on Sunday and while the president and first lady traveled in their Sunday best, young Barron looked like he was hopping on Air Force One for a trip to the movie theatre." He added that "the youngest Trump doesn't have any responsibilities as the president's son, but the least he could do is dress the part when he steps out in public."

Even some of Donald Trump's biggest critics hit back on Twitter (now know as X) at the ridiculous expectation that a child dress up like that. Chelsea Clinton, herself no stranger to her appearance being cruely critiqued when she was the first child, also spoke up in Barron's defense.

Earlier that year, a video that seemingly made fun of Barron for how he looked at his dad's inauguration was shared on Twitter by actor Julie Bowen, one of the stars of "Modern Family." This time it wasn't his clothes being judged, but his various facial expressions during the event. When called out, Bowen said she thought it was great Barron was behaving like a kid.

A viral video claimed he was autistic

In 2016, comedian Rosie O'Donnell shared a 7-minute video on Twitter (now know as X) with the caption "Barron Trump Autistic? if so – what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic." Made by a YouTuber, it took video of Barron Trump's appearances at his father's political events from the past few months and used them as evidence he had the disorder. There is, of course, nothing wrong with having autism, but it's probably not a great feeling for a kid when strangers are going around diagnosing you based on selective clips of your public appearances. 

Melania Trump was so furious about the video that she threatened to sue the person who made it. Her lawyers told The Hollywood Reporter, "A video was posted on YouTube recently speculating that Barron might be autistic. He is not. The video includes the hashtag 'StopTheBullying' but yet the video itself is bullying by making false statements and speculation about a 10-year-old boy for the purpose of harassing him and his parents."

The person who made the video apologized but insisted he hadn't meant it to be an insult. "As someone who was diagnosed at age 5 and has gone through bullying myself, I would NEVER do something like that," he wrote. "I made this because I truly believed Barron was on the spectrum, and I wanted people to stop bullying him over his 'weird' behavior and explain to them that it might actually be due to a condition."

Use in political mud-slinging

While most people agree that minor children of politicians are always off-limits, the use of them for political mud-slinging is inevitable. For Barron Trump, this has ranged from the relatively harmless to what-were-they-thinking levels. Like in 2018, when the actor Peter Fonda, expressing his anger over Trump's family separation policy at the border, tweeted, "We should rip Barron Trump from his mother's arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles" (via The New York Times). The year before, "Saturday Night Live" writer Katie Rich tweeted, "Barron will be this country's first homeschool shooter" (via The Washington Post), a joke that got her suspended from the show.

During Donald Trump's first impeachment hearing in 2019, Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan was making a point about the limits of presidential power when she said (via CNN), "...while the president can name his son Barron, he can't make him a baron." This was hardly insulting, but it was being televised, and Melania Trump was furious. She tweeted, "You should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it."

However, even Barron's father wasn't above using his son to try and win political points. According to The Hill, at a rally not long after the impeachment hearing comments drew his wife's ire, Donald tried to put down Senator Elizabeth Warren by saying, "I could have Barron Trump go into Central Park and he'd ... get a bigger crowd."

Donald's strange comments

Barron Trump's relationship, or lack thereof, with his father is something people have tried to figure out over the years. Melanie Trump told US Weekly in 2016 that the pair watched sports together and occasionally went golfing. But author Michael Wolff told Lawrence O'Donnell in 2019, "[Donald] doesn't get along with his son [Barron], he doesn't communicate with his son, he doesn't — his son is effectively not at all a part of his life, even though he lives with him" (via Crooks and Liars).

Donald has said some odd things over the years that indicate he might not know his youngest son very well. It might not be one of the worst things Donald Trump has ever said, sure, but it must be hard to hear for his kid. When speaking after his impeachment trial in 2020, Donald seemed to separate Barron from the rest of his family when saying (via the Express), "I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people. And Ivanka is here, and my sons, and my whole family. And that includes Barron. He's up there, he's a young boy."

Three years later in an interview with Megyn Kelly (via Facebook), Donald didn't seem to have learned much more about his fifth kid. He said, "Barron's very tall – about 6'8. And, he's a good kid. He's a good-looking kid. He's a great student, very good student."

The Stormy Daniels case is painful for his mom

In 2023, Donald Trump became the first former president ever charged with a criminal offense. The charges against Donald Trump were 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, which doesn't sound like it would be particularly painful for Barron Trump, until you remember those records were about paying off a woman that his father cheated on his mother with — when Barron was an infant. Add in Stormy Daniels' profession and the salacious details she'd already confessed about their one-night stand and it sounds like the worst possible thing for an 18-year-old boy to see plastered across the headlines every day for months. 

Barron hasn't spoken publicly about the trial, of course, but it's clear his mother isn't thrilled about its potential effect on him. "[Melania] wants to be away from it. She wants to protect Barron," a source told Page Six. Still, he must be able to tell how it's hurting his mom, at the very least. "Melania is lying very low. She hasn't been coming out for the dinners and events at Mar-a-Lago. [Donald] is acting like everything is normal, but she hasn't been social."

Keeping Barron separate from the trial became impossible immediately when Donald made a big deal about needing a day off to attend his high school graduation. Melania's former friend Stephanie Grisham told The Daily Mail, "'s just not something she would have liked. No reason to put such a happy occasion into news stories like that, which will follow their son everywhere."

His life may be more difficult now that he's legally an adult

Barron Trump turned 18 on March 20, 2024. While he was still a senior in high school, reaching legal adulthood meant the veil of protection that being a minor child had put over him until that point was gone. This became starkly clear when a former NBC senior executive named Mike Sington tweeted, "Barron Trump turns 18 today. He's fair game now" (via Newsweek). Many people, particularly fans of his father, found this inappropriate, and Sington eventually deleted the tweet.

While it might have been put badly, it is a sentiment that others probably feel. Barron's four older siblings are well-known in their own right, and even if he doesn't ever want to be a public figure, his last name might make that decision for him. Chelsea Clinton, who came to Barron's defense more than once when he lived in the White House, told the hosts of "The View" (via The Hill) that just because he isn't a kid anymore doesn't mean he is "fair game" for the media or anyone else. "I think he's a private citizen," Clinton said. "I feel so strongly that if you are a private citizen, you have an unimpeachable right to privacy, and I think the media should leave him alone."