President Trump's family will support him from the audience while he addresses a joint session of Congress and the nation on Tuesday night. However, the White House revealed Monday that Barron Trump won't attend the State of the Union. "I don’t believe he will be attending as of right now,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.
The rest of the president’s children, along with the first lady, will be in attendance, according to Sanders. Melania will actually have her own box, accompanied by 15 guests including multiple police officers and military service members. Sanders didn't specify why the president's youngest son won't be at the annual event, but it could have to do with his age.
Let's be honest: State of the Union speeches tend to be long and formal affairs. They also take place pretty late at night, so people on the West Coast don't miss out (it's scheduled to start around 9 p.m. ET this year). Trump's message to Congress last year lasted an hour, while Bill Clinton once lectured for a full 90 minutes. So, it's entirely possible the 11-year-old first son needs to be in bed before the event will conclude. It is a school night, after all.
Despite rumors that Melanie would skip the address while she and Barron stayed at her parents’ D.C. home, Sanders and Melania’s communications director have confirmed her attendance. Eric Trump was tweeting from Scotland Monday morning, but will apparently return to the U.S. in time to hear his father’s address.
The first lady nor any of the president’s adult children have commented on the event yet, but FLOTUS' guest list was announced on Monday. Corey Adams, a first-time homeowner and welder from Ohio; Matthew Bradford, the first blind double-amputee to re-enlist in the Marines; Ryan Holets, a police officer from New Mexico; and Elizabeth Alvarado and Evelyn Rodriguez, two mothers whose daughters were killed by MS-13 gang members, will sit with Melania Tuesday night.
A White House official told The Guardian the president's speech will “make clear that all groups are benefiting under this presidency.” The anonymous senior administration official added: “I think you can expect that the president is going to show that it’s great for America that all income groups, all people, every background are being lifted up by these policies."
Although the president's speech will likely wrap up around 10 p.m. ET, Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III will deliver the party's official response immediately afterward, pushing the event even later into the night. If you don't have to be at school (or work) early the next morning and want to tune in, the State of the Union address will be streamed live on the White House's official YouTube channel. You can also catch the action on most major news broadcasts Tuesday night.
Barron's absence likely won't be noticeable, as the room will be packed with members of Congress and their guests. The 11-year-old did attend his father's presidential debates back in 2016, but he's largely remained out of the spotlight while his family occupies White House. In fact, he and Melania didn't even move to D.C. until June so that he could finish the school hear in New York. "Looking forward to the memories we'll make in our new home!" the first lady tweeted at the time, along with a photo of the Washington Monument and the hashtag #MovingDay.
The president's youngest son now attends St. Andrews Episcopal School in a Maryland suburb of D.C. that costs more than $40,000 a year. So, he probably can't afford to stay up late watching his father's speech on a school night.