As Trump walks on to the stage at Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday night for the second presidential debate, he will probably look to his family in the crowd for support. He has leaned on his family, particularly his three oldest children, throughout the campaign. But in light of the recent controversy surrounding leaked tapes that caught Trump making sexually aggressive remarks about women, will his 10-year-old son Barron be kept home from this debate?
Trump's campaign has not made any reference to whether or not Barron will be in attendance at the second debate. It is being hyped to be a particularly contentious event, and may not the best environment for any 10-year-old, and even less so for one whose father is at the heart of the vitriol.
Trump's oldest children have been at the forefront of his campaign from the beginning. Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric have all acted as surrogates for him, and his daughter with second wife Marla Maples, Tiffany, has also made some appearances on the campaign trail. But young Barron has been kept mostly out of the spotlight. He did appear with the whole family at the Republican National Convention in July, but Barron was not in attendance at the first debate.
And with the release of the "Trump Tapes" this week, his parents have even more reason to keep him home on Sunday. On Friday, a tape was released that shows Trump, caught on a hot mic ahead of a taping for Access Hollywood in 2005, speaking explicitly about kissing and groping women without their permission. He bragged that as a celebrity, he could do whatever he wants with women, including "grab them by the p*ssy." The comments amounted to descriptions of sexual assault, and caused outrage and uproar over the last 48 hours, causing many in the GOP to pull support from the candidate, and even call for him to step down from the ticket.
People have pointed out that Trump's wife Melania was pregnant with Barron at the time. And for a woman who has stood by her man through so much this campaign season, this may have been the final straw for her. It was reported on Sunday that the Trump campaign wanted Melania to appear on TV with Trump to respond to the tapes, to which she allegedly refused.
Melania has previously talked about her concern over shielding her son from the darker side of the campaign. At this point it is unclear if Barron will be in St. Louis to support his father, or whether he will be sheltered from the criticism and condemnation his father is sure to face tonight.