Trump’s family members have visited court during the hush money trial. Notably missing: Melania and Ivanka Trump

Donald Trump listened to closing arguments on Tuesday surrounded by three of his adult children and some of their spouses – the largest family gathering in the Manhattan courthouse since the former president’s hush money trial began six weeks ago.

However, the display of familial support also drew attention to those conspicuously absent from the family patriarch’s side: his wife and eldest daughter.

With a jury verdict potentially days away, Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump have yet to join the former president as he defends himself against 34 charges. Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband and a key adviser to Trump during his four years in Washington, hasn’t journeyed to 100 Centre Street for the trial, either.

Eric Trump, meanwhile, has on several occasions appeared behind his father inside the dingy Manhattan courthouse. Donald Trump Jr., though recovering from knee surgery, has made a few visits as well. On Tuesday, the two were joined by Eric’s wife, Lara, and, for the first time, Trump’s youngest daughter, Tiffany, and her husband, Michael Boulos.

During a break in the closing arguments, Trump’s eldest sons attacked the credibility of Michael Cohen, the prosecution’s star witness, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the case against Trump. Trump Jr. also took aim at Robert De Niro, who had spoken outside of the courthouse earlier on Tuesday on behalf of President Joe Biden’s campaign. De Niro, Trump Jr. said, “needs attention because it’s been a while since he’s cranked out a good movie.”

“We understand that this is a political persecution,” he said. “That was evidenced today, today by the Biden campaign themselves holding a rally here.”

Who in the Trump family has and has not popped up in New York is illustrative of their approaches to the spotlight generated by his third White House bid.

While the Trump children overall are not nearly as involved as they were in his previous campaigns, Eric Trump has attended campaign events and legal proceedings in another case. Trump Jr. has made select appearances on the campaign trail and hosts a regular Rumble TV show where he touts his father’s policies and interviews some of Trump’s staunchest supporters. Lara Trump remains deeply involved in the former president’s political operation and was recently installed as the co-chair of the Republican National Committee after the previous party leader, Ronna McDaniel, lost the confidence of the party’s presumptive nominee.

Melania Trump, though, has not appeared alongside her husband at a single Trump rally and rarely joins him in public. A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not respond when asked if she intends to accompany him for any of the final days of his trial. Sources familiar with the dynamic said it was unsurprising that the former first lady had not been present nor that she hasn’t commented on the allegations central to the case.

Trump is accused of illegally orchestrating payments to silence Stormy Daniels, a porn star who told jurors she had a sexual encounter with the former president a year into his marriage with Melania Trump. The initial reports of this alleged encounter and the subsequent payments published while Trump was in the White House embarrassed the then-first lady and put stress on their marriage. During the trial, jurors also heard testimony related to another alleged mistress, Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal, who has publicly claimed an eight-month affair with Trump overlapping with Melania Trump’s pregnancy with their son Barron.

Ivanka Trump’s absence from the Manhattan trial is not surprising to many close to the former president after she and Kushner’s public distancing from Trump’s latest presidential campaign. A source close to the campaign didn’t rule out the couple making a joint appearance before the verdict. Both served as senior advisers during his presidency, but Ivanka Trump announced she would not be involved in the 2024 campaign, citing a desire to focus on her family.

“I love my father very much,” she said. “This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics.”

One source in Trump’s orbit noted that Ivanka had specific concerns about her kids’ awareness of the intense limelight from their famous grandfather.

“When [Ivanka Trump] was at the White House, her kids were still at the age where they might not know exactly what was going on,” the source said. “Her kids are older now and that’s no longer the case.”

Several sources indicated that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were given a cold shoulder in some social circles after their time in the White House, after facing backlash from friends over her father’s policies and demeanor while in office. After leaving Washington, the couple left New York and moved to Florida.

Kushner’s parents, Charles and Seryl Kushner, were co-hosts of a New York fundraiser arranged by billionaire Howard Lutnick during the trial. Trump at the end of his presidency pardoned Charles Kushner, a real estate developer who served prison time in the mid-2000s after he pleaded guilty to 16 counts of tax evasion, one count of retaliating against a federal witness – his brother-in-law – and another count of lying to the Federal Election Commission.

Trump has at times lashed out at the isolation brought on by his court appearances, both privately and publicly complaining early on that his allies had not made their presence felt inside and outside the court room. Republican lawmakers, potential vice presidential contenders, donors and allies responded by flocking to the Manhattan courtroom in droves, sparking daily intrigue over who might show up to defend him.

Eric Trump became the first family member to attend the trial. He sat behind his father on the ninth day as a witness laid out the paper trail allegedly connecting Trump to a payment to Daniels.

On Tuesday, Eric Trump apologized to the jury while defending his father.

“This has been the greatest colossal waste of time,” he said.

CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed to this story.

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