Melania Trump

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The new first family: what you need to know about the Trumps

Here are the essential things to know about the Trumps, with notes on the roles each family member may play in the administration

As soon as Donald Trump takes the oath of office, the Obama family is scheduled to board a helicopter for the airport and a California holiday. A new first family will have taken their place. Heres a bit about the Trumps, with notes on the roles each family member may play in the administration.

Melania
Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Melania Trump, 46

Wife of Donald. Born Melanija Knavs in Slovenia in eastern Europe, she was sufficiently successful as a model that she sometimes worked under only her first name, and toiled as an undocumented immigrant in the United States before landing a work visa in 1997, according to an Associated Press investigation. She met her future husband at a Fashion Week party in New York City. The couple will celebrate their 12th anniversary on 22 January, two days after he becomes president. She has said that as first lady she would like to be very traditional like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. She also plans to combat online bullying and harassment. She will remain in New York City through the end of the school year with her son with Trump, Barron, 10, and is expected to play a minimal role in the administration.

Donald Trump Jr, 39

Donald
Donald Trump Jr arrives at Trump Tower in New York Wednesday. Photograph: Albin Lohr-Jones/EPA

Donald Trumps eldest son, he is himself a father of five, with his wife, Vanessa Kay Haydon, a former model. A reality TV star (The Apprentice) like his father, he has been tapped to head the Trump Organization the family business empire with his brother, Eric, aided by a longtime company executive. Trump Jr is not expected to have a role in his fathers administration; indeed, his new position as co-head of the Trump Organization would seem to preclude, under ethics rules and traditions, his speaking with his father about the business and his hearing from his father about government. Trump Jr drew ire during the campaign for agreeing to an interview with a prominent white nationalist and for comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles. He is a big-game hunter and self-described boob guy.

Eric Trump, 33

Eric
Eric Trump arrives at Trump Tower Wednesday. Photograph: Albin Lohr-Jones/EPA

Trumps second-oldest son, he has also appeared on The Apprentice and is married to Lara Trump, ne Yunaska, a fitness trainer and TV producer. With his brother, Don Jr, Eric is to lead the Trump Organization, and is due to have no role in the Trump administration. He runs a charitable foundation to fight childhood cancer, but claims he has made about his father personally donating large sums to the foundation, like many Trump family claims about charitable giving, could not be verified. Like his brother, he is a big-game hunter.

Ivanka Trump, 35

Ivanka
Ivanka Trump on the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Trumps eldest daughter, and like Don Jr and Eric the daughter of her fathers first wife Ivana, a Czech-born former fashion model. Ivanka converted to Orthodox Judaism to marry businessman Jared Kushner, with whom she has three children. She is a fashion executive and like her brothers has appeared on The Apprentice. As an executive with the Trump organization, she managed projects including the recently opened Trump hotel in the Old Post Office building in downtown Washington DC, but she has said she will divest from the family company, owing to her husbands role in the Trump administration. The nature of her divestment is not clear; it has been described by Trump transition officials as converting her equity into fixed payments. Ivanka Trump has rebutted speculation that she would act as a de facto first lady. I think its an inappropriate observation, she told ABC News. There is one first lady, and shell do remarkable things.

Jared Kushner, 36

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/20/trump-first-family-politics-roles


What Citizen Trump cant stand the story is of Melania, not him | Marina Hyde

Of course Donald is angry. He cant possibly tolerate being just a plot device in his wifes amazing journey

Donald Trumps favourite movie is Citizen Kane, as he explains in oddly mesmeric archive footage released earlier this year by the documentary maker Errol Morris. Citizen Kane is really about accumulation, he analyses. Asked to offer a fix for the protagonists problems, Trump advises: Get yourself a different woman. Like the rest of us, Charles Foster Kane and indeed William Randolph Hearst, on whom Orson Welless masterpiece was transparently based should have listened to the Donald. The Donald knows the value of the women we accumulate, or certainly the price of them.

That said, it is crucial to note that we are talking about a takeover here, not a transaction. Trumps wife, Melania, is suing the Mail and some blogger over the allegation that Melania once traded as an escort. The Mail has retracted the story, explaining that it was merely pointing out some things that someone else had said that werent true. The blogger has taken down his posts; the $150m lawsuit remains. If they settle quickly, it might pay for some of Trumps election ads.

Its certainly one way of shutting the idea down, though it may remind some that there was a dimension of sexual prurience to Hearsts furious campaign against Welless movie. Rosebud was the name on the sledge that perhaps represented Kanes last moment of childhood innocence, but was also, as Gore Vidal later pointed out advisedly, Hearsts pet nickname for the clitoris of his mistress, Marion Davies. Hearst was said to be as mad about this as Trump now clearly is at the suggestion that his wife was once available for hire.

Certain liberals seem able to overlook the ethics of the Mails actions on the basis that Trump has made a bed of psychosexual and misogynistic slurs in which the Melania tale has merely forced him to lie. Yet however outrageous his insults about Megyn Kellys period, Hillary Clintons bathroom break, or Clinton getting schlonged, none of these should justify the shaming and defaming of Melania.

A
Rosebud the name on the sledge that perhaps represented Kanes last moment of childhood innocence, goes up in flames in Citizen Kane, Orson Welles masterpiece. Photograph: Ronald Grant

Even so, the tale is not without significance. Vidal didnt care about Rosebud for reasons of titillation or tedious voyeurism. As he put it to a lawyer who took him to task over the allegation: Unlike todays journalists and tell-all biographers I have very little interest in the sex lives of others. But the significance of Rosebud, if that indeed was Hearsts private name for Marions tender button, goes a long way toward explaining Hearsts fury at Orson Welless Citizen Kane.

Im with Gore. I have very little interest in whether Melania Trump was or wasnt an escort. As the obvious joke goes, the far more damaging claim is that she is married to Donald Trump. I am interested, however, in the particular things that particularly enrage the Republican nominee in the US presidential election. I am interested in which untruths Trump will spout again and again, and I am interested in which untruths spouted by others he wont stomach. I am especially interested in why it might be that he will not stomach them.

What is it about this allegation about his wife that Trump particularly dislikes? (And dont for a minute think this suit is something Melania would have been permitted to bring on her own.) After all, this is a man whose conception of human and political engagement appears to be solely transactional. He has always been eminently relaxed about the racy nature of Melanias earlier modelling work. He even gave the New York Post a pass when they published pictures of Melania with her hands on her rosebud.

In fact, Trump is a man who actively seeks the sexual approval of other men for the women he values in his life (all two of them). Consider his serial ogling of his daughter Ivanka, and repeated declarations that hed have her if he wasnt her father. Professionally, Trump the employer is at pains to remind us he must respect women because he has paid some for their services.

So I dont think Trump should mind in theory about acquiring something that other men had bought before him after all, thats real estate, baby. It doesnt matter that other men owned Mar-a-Lago, his Floridian estate, before he did. What matters is that he ended up with it, and its what you do with the place that counts. He specified certain improvements. He demands that it be kept a certain way. He has made something special of it. He constantly brags about the way that it looks, reminding people that it is, above all else, a prestige acquisition.

Indeed, he has deliberately opened it up to others, in the form of a country club. They are invited to feast their eyes on certain bits of it, though there are, of course, particular areas reserved just for him. There may be a right time to offload it in the future even the most exquisitely upholstered things get tatty in the end. Theres every chance that in 10 years time a west coast newbuild would look more appealing.

I suspect that what Trump really cant stand about the Melania escort stuff it is that it reduces him to a plot device in her story. It makes him her mark, in a way the ticket for what he knows others will see as her gimlet-eyed journey out of Slovenia, all the way to the Trump Tower penthouse. If people were even allowed to think it might be true, just this one remove from Pennsylvania Avenue, then his entire tale would have to be constituted The Art of the Deal by Melania Trump.

Ultimately, it is becoming notable how many of the most psychologically revealing things written about the Trumps have been either fictional or factually untrue. I loved The Arrangements, a short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie published a couple of months ago in the New York Times review, which was told from the point of view of Melania. Only yesterday I devoured a Garrison Keillor open letter to Trump in the Chicago Tribune, headlined When This Is Over, You Will Have Nothing That You Want, which felt like an excellent piece of creative writing. Kurt Eichenwald, a journalist who has followed Trump, subsequently marvelled at how well Keillor, a writer who has never met Trump, had got to the heart of his drives and fears.

Again, with the Donald fiction is strangely truer. Perhaps in real life Trump is so crudely drawn indeed, he draws himself so crudely that he feels more real in the fictional realm.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/02/melania-donald-trump-citizen-kane-plot-device-wifes-amazing-story


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