Barron Trump reaches out to sad-looking Trump at grandmother’s funeral

Former US President Donald Trump and his son Barron Trump attend the funeral of former first lady Melania Trump’s mother Amalija Knavs, at Bethesda by the Sea Church, in Palm Beach, Florida, on January 18, 2024. Former first lady Melania Trump’s mother Amalija Knavs, 78, died January 9, 2024 in Miami following an undisclosed illness. (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA / AFP) (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)

By many accounts, Donald Trump was never a doting, hands-on father to his five children when they were growing up. and his relationship with his youngest child, 17-year-old Barron, has been the source of much speculation.

But Trump and his teenage son gave a brief glimpse of tenderness between them when the boy gestured towards his 77-year-old father outside an Episcopal church in Palm Beach, which was the location for the funeral of Amalija Knavs, the former president’s mother-in-law and Barron’s grandmother.

Barron appeared to reach out to pat Trump’s back or to take his arm, while Trump looked sad, vulnerable or bereft. At 6-foot-7 inches, Barron towered over his father and seemed to be attending to him in some way, if only in the moment that they were captured together in the photograph.

Certainly, Trump has a lot going on. He’s running for president again, is the current GOP frontrunner and just won the Iowa Republican caucuses. But he’s also fending off criminal and civil trials in multiple jurisdictions. In fact, the Daily Mail reported that he flew to Palm Beach in the early hours of Thursday morning to be at his mother-in-law’s funeral and to be by the side of his wife, Melania Trump. Amalija Knavs died Jan. 9 at the age of 78 following an undisclosed illness.

Trump was in New York City earlier this week to attend his defamation trial with writer E. Jean Carroll. On Wednesday, Trump fumed that the judge overseeing the trial for refused to delay the proceedings a day so he could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral.

“I thought it was terrible. I thought it was terrible,” Trump said at a press conference Wednesday of Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision, the New York Post reported. He said he assumed that, “for a trial like this,” the judge would “have been very nice” and delay the trial for a day so that he could attend the funeral. Trump said that he would like to be present at “all days” of the trial but that Kaplan was making that impossible. Trump slammed the judge as “nasty” and called him “a radical Trump hater.”

Former US President Donald Trump (R) stands with his wife Melania Trump (2L) their son Barron Trump (C) and father-in-law Viktor Knavs, at the start of a funeral for Amalija Knavs, the former first lady’s mother, outside the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, in Palm Beach, Florida, on January 18, 2024. Former first lady Melania Trump’s mother Amalija Knavs, 78, died January 9, 2024 in Miami following an undisclosed illness. (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA / AFP) (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images) 

At the funeral Thursday, Trump seemed to put aside his anger and his need to be the center of attention. He wore a solemn expression as he let Melania Trump lead the proceedings. He walked to the side of her, her father, Viktor Knavs, and Barron as the four entered the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, not far from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

In her eulogy, the Slovenian-born former first lady paid tribute to her mother’s “nurturing spirit” and “unparalleled affection.”

“She embodied the best mother, wife, grandmother, mother-in-law — a true beacon of love and luxury in our lives,” Melania Trump said. “She’s a true inspiration, a role model to me, and to so many.”

Trump likewise paid tribute to Knavs during his victory speech at the Iowa caucuses, saying, “She’s up there, way up there. She’s looking down and she’s so proud of us. And I just want to say to Amalija, you are special, one of the most special people I’ve ever known.”

Trump’s adult children from his previous two marriages also attended the service for Melania Trump’s mother: daughters Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump and their husbands, Jared Kushner and Michael Boulos, and sons, Don Jr. and Eric, and their partners, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Lara Trump.

Trump’s in-laws remained in their native Slovenia after Melania Trump moved to New York City to become a model in 1996 and after she married Trump in 2005. They moved to the United States when Trump was president, and Melania Trump sponsored their bid to become citizens in 2018. After Trump lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden, he, Melania and Barron re-located to Mar-a-Lago. Amalija and Viktor Knavs joined them at the resort, “living it up as well-heeled retirees” and spending a great deal of time with their daughter and grandson, as the New York Post reported.

Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly been able to spend more time with his youngest son since leaving the White House and moving to Mar-a-Lago. In a 2015 People interview, Melania Trump admitted to being the more hands-on parent due to her husband’s first presidential campaign. But free from running the country or a real estate empire at Mar-a-Lago, Trump sometimes plays golf with his son or enjoys a one-on-one dinner with him, TheThings.com reported. Melania Trump told People about the “beautiful respect and admiration” that exists between father and son, and that “Barron loves to be one-on-one with Dad.”

Barron’s natural athleticism and height also makes Trump proud, according to reports. At a 2020 campaign rally, Trump called him out, proclaiming, “My Barron. My tall Barron. My beautiful Barron. Handsome. He is handsome.”

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