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The Trump Show’s Supporting Cast


Beyond that, he has to overcome the perception that he treats women badly in his personal life.

Bringing out a succession of actual women who are close to him to prove otherwise is a familiar trope, the equivalent of using “I have a Black friend” to establish anti-racist credentials, said Jill Filipovic, who has written about the Trump children and is the author most recently of “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind.” “It’s ‘I’m the father of daughters, so I can’t possibly be sexist,’” she said. “In his case, it’s ‘Not only am I the father of daughters, but look — my daughters love me so much that they will get up and speak on my behalf.’”

In her remarks on Wednesday, Lara Trump recalled how, as a young woman from the South who moved to New York City to seek her fortune, she was astonished to find that the Trump family was “down to earth,” “warm and caring” and similar to her own family, small business owners from North Carolina.

She said nice things; then she changed her tone. “This is an election that will decide if we keep America, America or if we head down an uncharted frightening path toward socialism,” she said.

As for Tiffany, who recently graduated (remotely) from Georgetown Law School, she remains chronically overshadowed by her three older half-siblings, who all work full-time for their father in one capacity or another. It was interesting to see her in person at the convention, like spotting a rare duck in Central Park.

She is 26, the only child of the short-lived marriage between Mr. Trump and Marla Maples, the model who was quoted as saying that Mr. Trump had given her “the best sex I’ve ever had” during their affair, at a time when Mr. Trump was a tabloid personality in New York City. (Mr. Trump hastily divorced his first wife, Ivana, and then married Ms. Maples two months after she gave birth to Tiffany.) Tiffany’s half-siblings were raised in gold-plated glamour in Manhattan; after Mr. Trump divorced Ms. Maples, Tiffany was raised in Calabasas, Calif., where she knew the Kardashian family but did not see her father much.

“I had the blessing of raising her pretty much on my own,” Ms. Maples once said.

Like all the Trump children, Tiffany seemed to be speaking at the convention mostly to an audience of one, wanting to please and impress her father above anyone else. A year ago, she figured in a news story about the abrupt dismissal of Madeleine Westerhout, Mr. Trump’s personal assistant.

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