Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital News
Donald Trump Junior (L), Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump are all closely involved in their father's political and business life


Calling the White House home: two contrasting ‘first families’

Donald Trump Junior (L), Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump are all closely involved in their father’s political and business life © AFP / MANDEL NGAN

Washington, United States, Oct 30 – As men in their 70s, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have large extended families — some members of which are the subject of scalding controversy, while others live less in the spotlight.

Examining the two competing “first families” of the US election reveals the presidential candidates’ differing life stories, and how their wives and children are involved in the battle for the White House.

– The House of Trump –

All three of Trump’s children with his first wife Ivana play an integral role in his political and business life.

The oldest, Donald Trump Junior, is a stalwart of the campaign trail, hugely popular with Trump loyalists and big-money donors.

A fluent stump speaker with a sharp line in verbal attacks, he rages against his father’s perceived enemies: the media, left-wingers and “deep state” officials trying to thwart the president.

Don Jr., 42, is a keen hunter who often sports a beard, jeans and plaid shirt as he seeks to project an everyman image despite being the president’s eldest son.

He is even more combative than his father on Twitter, where he has 5.8 million followers, and speculation is rife that he has presidential ambitions himself.

He has five children with his ex-wife Vanessa Haydon Trump, and his partner is now Kimberley Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host who is also a vocal defender of President Trump.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Don Jr.’s sister Ivanka, 38, holds the official title of “Advisor to the President” and is a key member of the White House inner circle.

Accusations of nepotism increased after she sat in on Trump’s meetings with fellow presidents and joined him for official G20 photos with other world leaders.

Future political ambitions? President Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / WIN MCNAMEE

Trump said in 2018 he was tempted to appoint her as US ambassador to the United Nations. He also asked her if she wanted to head the World Bank, but she declined.

Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner is another of Trump’s closest aides, with responsibilities including large parts of the government’s flawed Covid-19 response and US policy in the Middle East.

The couple have three children together.

Don Jr. and his younger brother Eric, 36, have in theory taken over all Trump family business activities while the patriarch and Ivanka work in Washington.

Eric, who is executive vice-president of the Trump Organization, joins in with the family’s social media offensives.

President Trump has one child, Tiffany, from his six-year marriage to Marla Maples.

(R-L) Barron, Melania, Donald, Tiffany, Donald Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle at the White House © AFP / Brendan Smialowski

Tiffany, 27, has largely kept a low political profile but she spoke at the Republican National Convention and recently garnered mixed reviews for a speech she gave a Trump Pride event.

Trump’s youngest child is Barron, a tall 14-year-old who lives in the White House with his father and mother, Melania Trump, the First Lady.

– Biden’s brood –

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Joe Biden’s life has been scarred by two tragedies — when his first wife and daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972, and when his son Beau died of cancer aged 46 in 2015.

Joe Biden talks with his son, US Army Capt. Beau Biden, at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad in 2009 © POOL/AFP/File / KHALID MOHAMMED

Biden married Neilia Hunter in 1966 while he was at law school and she was a teacher.

All three of their children were with Neilia on their way to buy a Christmas tree when the family car was hit by a tractor-trailer.

Neilia and their daughter Naomi, aged one, were killed, while Beau and Hunter were seriously injured.

Joe Biden, who was about to become a senator, raised his surviving children with the help of his sister Valerie. For years, he commuted by train two hours each way from the family home in Delaware to Washington.

He has often spoken about how his relationship with his sons helped him to cope with grieving as he built his career and, in 1977, married his second and current wife, Jill.

Then vice-president Joe Biden and sons Hunter Biden (L) and Beau Biden after Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / DAVID MCNEW

Beau was seen as inheriting his father’s public service ethos and political skills. He served in the military in Iraq and became Delaware’s attorney general.

But Beau, who had two children, died of brain cancer in 2015, less than two years after he was diagnosed. Biden soon after ended thoughts of making a presidential bid in 2016.

Biden’s other son, Hunter, has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, and was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2014 after a positive test for cocaine.

He has become a focus of Trump’s attacks ahead of the November 3 vote.

From 2014 to 2019, while his father was Barack Obama’s vice president, Hunter served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Jill Biden has played a key role in her husband’s 2020 campaign © AFP / ROBERTO SCHMIDT

Trump has accused Biden of seeking the removal of Ukraine’s top prosecutor to protect Hunter from a corruption investigation.

Hunter, 50, has admitted displaying “poor judgment” in his business dealings but denied any wrongdoing.

Hunter is now a painter in Los Angeles, and has three children with his ex-wife Kathleen.

He has two other young children, one with his second wife Melissa Cohen, whom he married last year just six days after they met.

Biden’s wife Jill, 69, is a teacher who is a major part of his election team, appearing regularly at campaign events. The couple have one daughter Ashley, 39.

Click to comment

More on Capital News


Lagos, Nigeria, Dec 2 – Police in Nigeria have rescued 10 people, including four children, four pregnant women and two other women from an illegal...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia says the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increased...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – Deputy President William Ruto held a meeting with MPs and Governors allied to hi Wednesday, in what insiders described...


San Francisco, United States, Dec 2 – Donald Trump has threatened to veto a major military funding bill unless Congress abolishes a liability law protecting...

Capital Health

London, United Kingdom, Dec 2 – Britain on Wednesday became the first Western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for general use as it announced...


Beijing, China, Dec 2 – A sexual harassment case against a powerful Chinese media figure began in Beijing on Wednesday, with his accuser calling...

Corona Virus

Paris, France, Dec 2 – 2020 was a year turned upside-down by the novel coronavirus. But with the prospect of several vaccines coming online...

Capital Health

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 2 – The National Treasury and Ministry of Health have 21 days to remit Sh500 million to the National Hospital Insurance...