Donald Trump’s Lack of Family in Court Raises Eyebrows: ‘Deserted Him’

Donald Trump’s family members apparently not attending the first day of his “hush money” trial has raised eyebrows on social media.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in relation to so-called “hush money” he arranged for his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep an alleged affair she had with the former president a secret ahead of the 2016 election.

The presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee has admitted to reimbursing the $130,000 to Cohen, but he denies having an affair with Daniels. The embattled Republican has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

Jury selection for Trump’s trial began in New York City on Monday. The former star of The Apprentice, who has branded his legal woes a Democrat-run “witch hunt,” was on hand for the proceedings.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court on April 15, 2024, in New York City. The former president faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to…

Jabin Botsford/Pool/Getty Images

However, it was noted by some observers that none of Trump’s immediate family appeared to be present to show their support at the courthouse on Monday,

Joyce Vance, a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst who is a frequent critic of Trump, took to X, formerly Twitter, on Monday to share her take on the matter.

“I have rarely seen a defendant facing trial alone with no family, at least one person, in the courtroom for him,” Vance wrote on the micro-blogging platform. “It’s a sad commentary for a former president with four grown children & a wife, all of whom seem to have deserted him in the moment.”

As of press time, the post has garnered more than 200,000 views.

Vance’s post sparked a discussion among a number of X users, several of whom used it as an opportunity to criticize Trump.

Attorney and podcaster Taylor E. Darcy responded by highlighting how many people previously associated with Trump haven’t fared well in their own cases.

“Considering the number of people who have been found guilty in Trump’s sphere and the subject matter of this particular trial, it’s not all that surprising,” Darcy said of the family absence. “It has a certain ick factor.”

“And let’s not forget the irony of a man who spent his entire presidency attacking and undermining the justice system now having to face the consequences of his own alleged crimes,” another X user chimed in. “It’s like a Greek tragedy, if Greek tragedies were written by a reality TV producer with a spray tan.”

A number of other X users pushed back, with one calling those criticizing Trump “disgusting hypocrites. And Make America Great Again by electing Trump.”

“We Love and support you ‘Legitimate’ President Trump,” another commented, in apparent reference to Trump’s unfounded claims that President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over him was fraudulent. “Only 6 months till Renovation America. Clean House Deep and Wide, and put them in Prison! TRUMP 2024.”

Newsweek has contacted a representative of Trump via email for comment.

While Trump may not have had his family with him in court on Monday, his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., showed their support on social media.

Donald Trump briefly addressed the media as he left the courthouse at the end of the first day of the trial, saying: “It looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation of my son who’s worked very, very hard and he is a great student.”

The former president was referring to his 18-year-old son, Barron Trump, who he shares with his wife, Melania Trump.

Slamming Judge Juan Merchan on X, Eric Trump commented: “Judge Merchan is truly heartless in not letting a father attend his son’s graduation.”

Donald Trump Jr. branded the purported move “pure evil” in a post of his own. However, it appears that Merchan hasn’t yet made a decision on the matter.

Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump’s most recent post on X was shared on Sunday, and showed her at a motocross park in Florida with her three children. The former president’s other daughter, Tiffany Trump, has not posted on X since 2022.

Meanwhile, Melania Trump has largely been absent from her husband’s presidential campaign events, declining to make public appearances or comment about the election. Her presence has been scaled back in contrast to the 2016 presidential campaign, when she took on a more active role.

Her absence was the subject of much speculation, as critics questioned why she appeared to remove herself from public life. The talk was exacerbated when the former model was notably absent from a Trump family Christmas card, which featured her husband, all of his children, and her father.

Donald Trump had revealed his wife’s reasons for being absent from his New Year’s Eve party, when he explained in a speech at his residence Mar-a-Lago that she had been with her “very ill” mother, Amalija Knavs, in a Miami hospital. Knavs died in January at the age of 78.

In March, Melania stood next to her husband while he fielded questions from reporters after casting his vote in the Florida Republican primary. When asked by reporters if she planned to return to the campaign trail ahead of the 2024 election, Melania Trump responded: “Stay tuned.”

During a town hall in South Carolina in February, Donald Trump said that his “very brilliant” wife’s attention was devoted to their son.

“Her life revolves around that boy, [he’s] so important to her,” the former star of The Apprentice told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “At the same time, it also revolves around our country and the success of our country. She’s raised a lot of money for charity.”

“She’s a private person,” he continued. “It’s funny, she was a very successful model, very, very successful, and yet she was a private person. She’s going to be out a lot, not because she likes doing it, but she likes the result. She wants to see this country really succeed.”

Melania Trump is expected to hold her first major political event of the year when she appears at a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on April 20 for the Log Cabin Republicans, which bills itself as the nation’s largest organization representing LGBT conservatives and allies.