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Trump’s youngest son Barron ‘declines’ to be RNC delegate, his mother Melania says

  • By Sam Cabral
  • BBC News, Washington

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Barron Trump (R) “regretfully declines to participate due to prior commitments,” said a spokesperson for Melania Trump (C).

Barron Trump is refusing to represent his father at the Republican National Convention, according to his mother’s office.

The Republican Party of Florida announced Wednesday that the 18-year-old would be among those choosing Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.

Reacting to what would have marked the political debut of his youngest child, the ex-president declared himself “completely supportive”.

But former first lady Melania Trump now appears to have rejected the idea.

“While Barron is honored to have been selected as a delegate by the Republican Party of Florida, he is unfortunately declining to participate due to prior commitments,” a spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump said in a statement, first reported times by the Daily Mail.

It is not yet known whether Barron, who will graduate from high school next week, will attend the July 15-18 convention, which will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Other family members, including his half-siblings Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany, will all be delegates for the state of Florida, where their father now resides and votes.

Ivanka Trump, who has publicly stated she will not participate in her father’s re-election campaign, and her husband Jared Kushner are not yet confirmed as participants.

Neither did Melania Trump, who was spotted at political events at the couple’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, but who did not join Mr. Trump on the campaign trail or at his trial criminal investigation underway in New York.

While other family members became involved in the Trump campaign, Mrs. Trump kept their son — the only child in a nearly two-decade marriage — largely out of the public eye.

Studying at a private school in Maryland during Mr Trump’s presidency, he rarely appeared in public, as his mother was known to be fiercely protective of his privacy.

Comments about her appearance and behavior from her father’s critics often drew fierce rebukes from the first lady’s office, as well as other former first children, including Chelsea Clinton.

In a report confirmed this week by the Florida Republican Party, the high school student was expected to be included on Florida’s list of 41 delegates, alongside members of his family and a number of Mr. Trump’s close allies.

As a delegate, Barron would stand on the convention grounds and join the Florida delegation to officially nominate his father.

The three-day convention will see each of the country’s 50 states and territories do the same and will culminate in the confirmation of Mr. Trump as the Republican nominee in November’s presidential election.

His son’s first foray into politics drew a joyful reaction from Mr. Trump, who described him in an interview with Telemundo 51 on Thursday as “very cute.”

“He’s quite young, I will say. He’s 17,” the former president said, appearing to misrepresent his age. “But if they can do it, I’m all for it.”

In another interview, Mr. Trump said his son, who is considering attending New York University (NYU), loved politics.

“It’s kind of funny,” he told Philadelphia’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT. “He says to me sometimes, ‘Dad, this is what you have to do.’”

Mr. Trump is currently facing his first of four criminal trials, in which he is accused of falsifying business records in New York. He denies any wrongdoing.

The judge granted him special permission to take time off court to attend Barron’s graduation next Friday.

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