A look at what might lie ahead for each member of the Trump family after they leave the White House
Jan. 20 is not just Inauguration Day. It’s also time for what’s known as the “transfer of families,” the five frenzied hours that precede the current occupants of the White House moving out and the new president and his family moving in.
President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, might not be packing in preparation for that day yet, and they haven’t said what they’ll be doing next, as Trump continues to focus on efforts to prove widespread election fraud. Other members of his family have also been publicly silent about what their plans might be for 2021, although the president’s loss to Joe Biden also affects their livelihood.
But speculation outside the White House is rampant, and some people close to the president are hinting about what 2021 might bring for Trump and his family — and 2024, too.
Here’s a look at some of the predictions.
President Donald Trump
Will he or won’t he? That’s the No. 1 question on whether Trump will run again in 2024.
NBC News reported this week that the president is considering running again and making an announcement on Inauguration Day, which would help assuage the sting of Biden’s swearing-in for the more than 74 million Americans who voted for the president.
“Trump is keen on the idea of formally launching a 2024 campaign on Inauguration Day because that’s when he filed for reelection in 2017, people familiar with the discussions said,” NBC reported. But other sources told NBC an announcement could come sooner, possibly after the Electoral College convenes Dec. 14.
Although Trump will be 78 in 2024, his age will likely not be a factor since Biden turned 78 last month. And CNN reported that Trump may have shown his hand at a recent White House Christmas party, when he told attendees, “We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.”
And Politico has reported that uncertainty about Trump’s future plans has some other potential GOP candidates for 2024 holding off on deciding if they will run for president that year. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has said that if Trump decides to seek office again, “he will certainly be the front-runner and will probably be the nominee.”
Regardless of that decision, it’s likely Trump will write a book; he’s already written numerous bestsellers. A presidential memoir could likely fetch him an advance of $30 million to $40 million, according to Publishers Weekly. That would be a sizable uptick in income, given that Trump has donated the salary he has received as president.
Some have speculated that Trump might start a TV network to compete with Fox, which has fallen out of favor with the president. But Mike Allen reported last month in Axios that it’s more likely that Trump starts a subscription-based digital media channel that would stream online. It would be relatively easy to do, given that Trump’s database of cellphone numbers is “among the most valuable in politics,” Allen wrote.
Of course, not all predictions about Trump’s future are good for the president.
There’s also speculation in some quarters that Trump will be mired in legal problems, and possibly prosecution in the coming year, stemming from more than a dozen investigations and civil suits that are said to be ongoing.
But if that happens, expect for him to fight back, showing the positive attitude that has shaped him. He also has a history of resilience, as detailed in his 2008 book “Never Give Up, How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success.” The first chapter details “the lowest moment in my life and how I fought back,” which Trump said occurred in March of 1991, when The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times published articles about him being billions of dollars in debt.
“However, giving up is something that never entered my mind,” he wrote.
If President Trump decides not to run for office, it could be to clear the path for one of his children to do so. Daughter Ivanka, who has served in the White House as a presidential adviser, is thought to be mulling a political career of her own.
She has said she isn’t contemplating a run for president in 2024, but some pollsters have thrown her name into hypothetical matchups. In one, she came in sixth for the GOP nomination, trailing Vice President Mike Pence, brother Donald Trump Jr., Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.
Ivanka Trump has three young children and could decide to take advantage of some newfound freedom in order to spend more time with them. But her father’s presidency has afforded her an enviable resume. She is beloved by his supporters and has 10 million Twitter followers of her own.
“Interviews with over a dozen sources painted a picture of a woman who, much like her father, is interested in leveraging the platform and global relationships she gleaned from her starring role in Washington,” one report in The Washington Post said.
That could be by returning to her old job at her father’s company, the Trump Organization, where she oversaw development and acquisitions, or restarting the fashion company she shut down in 2018.
Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, is also losing his job as a presidential adviser on Jan. 20. But it’s doubtful he will be unemployed for long, given his Harvard University degree and newly burnished resume. “As a result of working in the White House, Jared has made international trade and peace deals, he’s on good terms with people all across the world, and so the opportunities are significant,” someone close to the family told a writer for Vanity Fair.
Most recently, Kushner was credited with helping to broker a deal that normalized relations between Israel and three Arab states, and even after the election, he has continued diplomatic talks with Saudia Arabia and Qatar, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A former executive with his family’s real-estate company, Kushner is widely expected to return to that business, albeit with a more global focus, according to Politico.
Donald Trump Jr.
His sister had the high-profile job in the White House, but Donald Trump Jr. is the most likely of Trump’s children to lead the MAGA movement when (or if) the president retires. As Meridith McGraw and Nancy Cook wrote for Politico, “Of the Trump family members, Trump Jr. is the most fluent in MAGA internet culture, making him popular with youthful, energetic Trumpers.”
One analysis in The New York Times Magazine said Trump Jr. has a “discipline and polish” that his father lacks in social-media interactions, but said he is not a watered-down version of the president. The article called him “Trump distilled.” He and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle have been effective fundraisers for the Republican Party, the magazine reported.
That doesn’t mean Trump Jr. will run for office anytime soon. It’s expected that he will keep supplying oxygen to his father’s brand on Twitter and Instagram. He also has his own website (Donjr.com) where he sells his recent book, “Liberal Privilege,” self-published in September.
Some fans are ready for a campaign. In October, Trump Jr. posted a photo on Instagram that showed him standing next to a “Don Jr. 2024” banner at a livestock auction in Nevada. Trump Jr., however, treated it as a joke, writing “Oh, boy. … This will make the lib heads explode.”
Currently, he holds his sister’s old job (executive vice president of development and acquisitions) in the Trump Organization, according to his Instagram account.
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Eric and Lara Trump
Eric Trump, also an executive vice president with his father’s company, oversees development and new construction. He is expected to continue in this role, but there is talk that his wife, Lara Trump, will run for office in North Carolina, her home state.
Numerous news outlets have reported that Lara Trump is interested in a U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Richard Burr who will retire at the end of his term in 2022. Lara Trump, an adviser to the president’s reelection campaign, is a former personal trainer and television producer for “Inside Edition” who is a household name in North Carolina, The New York Times has reported. (Eric and Lara Trump, who currently live near New York City, have two children, one named Carolina.)
She could also choose to seek office elsewhere. In a poll conducted last year, Lara Trump won by 30 points in a hypothetical matchup in New York’s 2nd Congressional District.
But she indicated recently on Fox News that a North Carolina seat holds a special appeal.
“It would be an incredible thing. It’s my home state, a state I love so much. And look, I think we need some strong Republicans in Washington, D.C. We had a great run with the Senate and the House this go-round, but you know, let’s see what happens,” she said.
The president’s youngest daughter, Tiffany Trump, campaigned for her father and spoke on his behalf at the Republican National Convention, but hasn’t played a role in the administration or in Trump’s businesses so far. That may be because she’s been busy getting an education; she received a law degree from Georgetown University at a virtual commencement ceremony earlier this year.
Tiffany Trump has said in the past she’s interested in working for her father, telling George Stephanopoulos in 2016 that having a law degree would allow her to bring a different skill set to the company. The president apparently has had the same thought. After his daughter’s graduation, Trump tweeted “Great student, great school. … Just what I need is a lawyer in the family.”
The president’s wife has been busy overseeing the White House Christmas decorations and has said nothing publicly about her future plans, or where the couple might live. But there is some speculation that Melania Trump may be happy to leave the White House and the constant scrutiny a first lady endures. In 2018, she said she was one of the most bullied people in the world.
“I think Melania will probably be secretly relieved. This is not what she signed up for,” Kate Andersen Brower, the author of the book “First Women,” told a reporter for USA Today.
There’s also talk that Melania Trump, like Michelle Obama before her, might write a memoir while enjoying the rapidly shrinking window of having her 14-year-old son, Barron, at home.