Robert Trump, the youngest brother of Donald Trump, died yesterday. He was 71. I’m not sure that I knew that Donald Trump had another living brother (after the passing of Fred Jr. to alcoholism in 1981) until several weeks ago, when Robert Trump was asked to file suit against Mary Trump — the daughter of Donald’s oldest brother, Fred, Jr. — to stop the publication of her book. Robert lost that suit. It is unclear what his health was at the time he brought the suit, as the Trump family has not specified how Robert died. The Times, however, notes that he had been suffering from brain bleeds.
“He was not just my brother, he was my best friend,” President Trump said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again.”
It is also unclear just how close Trump’s relationship was with Robert. The two were estranged for many years, after Donald blamed — and berated — Robert for a snafu with slot machines at Taj Mahal in 1990, though Donald bore much of the blame for the snafu. They apparently didn’t mend their relationship until Trump ran for President, and even then, Robert remained quietly in the background. In her book, Mary Trump also characterized Robert and Donald’s relationship differently, via The Post:
“Donald had discovered early on how easy it was to get under Robert’s pale skin and push him past his limits; it was a game he never tired of playing,” Mary Trump wrote. “Nobody else would have bothered — Robert was so skinny and quiet that there was no sport in tormenting him.”
Robert Trump also worked in tandem with Donald Trump to ensure that the children of their older brother, Fred Jr., received a smaller share of the elder Fred’s inheritance, despite the fact that Fred III had a child with cerebral palsy.
The President visited Robert in the hospital on Friday. The family biographer, Gwenda Blair, notes that Donald didn’t have much of a choice, after Mary Trump revealed that Donald went to a movie on the day that Fred Jr. died.
“It’s very much part of the Trump family legend that they are a tight-knit, loyal group,” she told the Times. “That is the family modus operandi. Mary Trump has recently suggested otherwise, but I think, as part of the response to that, Donald Trump would have no choice but to go.”
The President nevertheless was golfing in New Jersey with a retired NFL kicker when his brother died.
The sociopath spent the day with you as his brother was dying. Awesome. 👍— jen pal (@jennyrachelpal) August 16, 2020
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