David Usborne muses on what the stately rooms of the White House will make of the Trump clan.
Some things we will have to take on trust. Such as Mr Trump not using spray paint and renaming it the Gold House. He should take the advice of the Secret Service and downgrade to Marine One and Air Force One, parking his own Boeing jet and helicopters for the duration. He will not serve fried chicken and Taco Bowl salads at state dinners. (Though his first honoured guest would surely be Vladimir Putin.) Nor will he attempt to install a casino in the East Wing, replace the annual Easter Egg Roll with the annual Easter Roulette dice roll, or dig a tunnel to his nearby, brand new hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The possibility of an inauguration day next January involving Trump taking the Oath of Office is surely already giving the 96 full-time and 250 part-time custodial staff at the mansion conniptions. How do you transform its 132 rooms – it is big – to accommodate the tastes of a former reality television host when the man leaving is understated Barack Obama?
Then there will be the Trumps themselves. While the immediate family is large, especially if you include two ex-wives, it is likely that only three of them will actually be moving in to live there - President Donald Trump, first lady Melania and their son, ten-year-old Barron.
Slovenian-born Melania, 46, should give the old place a bit of high-glam glitz. She was a model once. Come to think of it which of the Trump women weren’t on the runway earlier in their lives? Ivanka, the daughter born to Trump and his first wive, Ivana, was a model before she joined the Trump enterprises as President of Development and Acquisitions. She can now boast of having helped him acquire America.
Such are her good looks her father has been known to make off-colour remarks about them. In a 2003 Howard Stern radio interview, he averred that his eldest daughter has “got the best body”. Likewise, during an appearance on ABC’s The View in 2006, he said that if Ivanka wasn’t his daughter he would be dating her.
Arguably the most appealing of the Trump offspring, Ivanka would surely be a regular visitor to Washington. And she has her own brood. This summer she had her third child with husband Jared Kushner – she converted to Judaism after marrying him in 2009. Kushner (never a model) is the son of a prominent New York property developer and has been owner of the weekly Observer paper in New York for 10 years, nowadays a pale shadow of its former self.
Also prominent in the campaign and certain to claim some right to hang at the White House is Donald Trump Jr, 38, first son of Donald and Ivana. His wife, Vanessa, was a model, once signed with Wilhelmina Models. According to New York Magazine, she also dated Leonardo DiCaprio when she was 20. They have given Donald no fewer than five grandchildren.
Donald Jr has made a few gaffes of his own in the heat of the campaign, like the day he compared sweets to refugees. “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?” he wrote on Twitter. “That’s our Syria refugee problem.”
Then there is Eric Trump, who was a campaign fixture. Like his elder brother, he likes to shoot large animals like bears and lions in Africa. There is one famous snap of his posing with a severed elephant’s tail. Not a former model exactly, Eric’s wife of two years, Lara – they wed at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump spread in Palm Beach that could serve as the Winter White House – is, however, a former personal trainer.
Tiffany Trump, 22, the daughter of Donald and his second wife, Marla Maples (nee Cuhutta Georgia), recently graduated from University of Pennsylvania and wants to be - a model. She made her New York Fashion Week debut in February this year.
Young Barron, as far as we know, has no modeling aspirations. He is fan of sports, especially tennis, and, we are told, golf. Should he require a diminutive but challenging golf course within the boundaries of the White House – perhaps across the South lawn where Michelle Obama currently has her vegetable garden – his father should be able to deliver. Building golf courses is something he has done before.