“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,” entertainment reporter Ford Springer wrote in the Daily Caller.
The story prompted widespread rebukes from both sides of the political aisle and the media, including a sharp statement from Clinton, who knows firsthand the spotlight of a White House childhood.
“It’s high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves,” she wrote, linking to the article.
When his father assumed office in January, then-10-year-old Barron Trump joined Clinton in the exclusive ranks of first children, a club rife with undue scrutiny for the children of Presidents. Notoriously private first lady Melania Trump and the President have largely shielded their son, now 11, from the spotlight, and refrain from commenting on private family matters. The first lady stayed in Trump Tower in New York City last spring, moving to Washington after her son completed the school year. He is due to start at his new school early next month.
“Like all first families have in the past, we want everyone to respect Barron’s privacy and let him be a kid,” the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.
Clinton has otherwise been an outspoken opponent of the Trump administration, frequently taking to social media with sharply worded criticism of her mother’s 2016 opponent’s policies. But she has come to Barron Trump’s defense multiple times.
“Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids,” she wrote days after Trump’s inauguration.
She reiterated that sentiment in April, writing, “I’ve repeatedly said and will keep saying Barron should be afforded the right and space and privacy to be a kid.”