Nobody seems sure why Trump's adult children tagged along on his state visit to Britain

Trump's adult children at a joint U.S-U.K. press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump accompanied their father, President Trump, to his Irish golf resort and a D-Day commemoration in France, after participating in the president's pomp-filled state visit to England. Ivanka left Britain for The Hague, where she represented the U.S. at a summit on entrepreneurship. Presumably, Trump's fourth adult child, Tiffany, went her own way.

We know a lot of what the president's adult children were doing in Europe — they recorded their trip on social media, the press photographed them at formal dinners with British royals, and there's video of Don Jr. and Eric going on a pub crawl in Ireland, buying rounds of ale for the townsfolk — but the White House won't say what they were doing in President Trump's official entourage. Ivanka (37) and her husband, Jared Kushner (38), have White House jobs, but Don Jr. (41) and Eric (35) run the Trump family business, Tiffany (25) is a Georgetown Law student, and Eric's wife, Lara (36), works for the president's re-election campaign.

View this post on InstagramA post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on Jun 3, 2019 at 4:13pm PDT

"State visits don't often double as family reunions, especially with grown children in tow, and the occurrence has certainly raised some eyebrows," says Kyle Munzenrieder at W Magazine. Ethics experts were especially bothered by Eric and Don Jr.'s participation in state events, given the already blurred line between Trump business and government business.

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"Trump aides scoffed," noting that "past presidents have traveled with family members, including children," The Washington Post notes. They pointed to Barack Obama bringing his daughters on some presidential trips, though they were minors living in the White House. Ronald Reagan's adult children did not travel abroad with him when he was president. Trump's 13-year-old son, Barron, stayed in Washington.

White House officials told CBS News that Don Jr., Eric, Lara, and Tiffany "are personally paying" for their travel. "Presidential children raise the public costs of a trip, given that they require Secret Service protection," the Post adds, "but it is less clear how many other expenses would be incurred by taxpayers."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.