Trump's youngest son Barron 'declines' to be RNC delegate, his mother Melania says

The Trumps at the funeral of Ivana Trump
Barron Trump (right) 'regretfully declines to participate due to prior commitments', a spokeswoman for Melania Trump (centre) said [Getty Images]

Barron Trump is declining to serve as a delegate on behalf of his father at the Republican National Convention, according to his mother's office.

The Florida Republican Party announced on Wednesday that the 18-year-old would be among those selecting Donald Trump as the party's presidential nominee.

Reacting to what would have marked his youngest child's political debut, the ex-president said he was "all for it".

But former First Lady Melania Trump now appears to have shot down the idea.

"While Barron is honored to have been chosen as a delegate by the Florida Republican Party, he regretfully declines to participate due to prior commitments," a spokeswoman for Mrs Trump said in a statement, first reported by the Daily Mail.

It is unclear if Barron, who graduates from high school next week, will even attend the 15-18 July convention, which takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Other family members, including his half-siblings Donald Jr, Eric and Tiffany, will all serve as delegates for the state of Florida, where their father now resides and votes.

Ivanka Trump, who has publicly stated she will not be a part of her father's re-election campaign, and her husband Jared Kushner are not currently confirmed as participants.

Neither is Melania Trump, who has been spotted at political events hosted at the couple's Mar-a-Lago resort home in Palm Beach but has not joined Mr Trump on the campaign trail or at his ongoing criminal trial in New York.

While other family members have gotten involved with the Trump campaign, Mrs Trump has kept their son - the only child from a nearly two-decade marriage - largely out of the public eye.

Attending a private school in Maryland during Mr Trump's presidency, he rarely appeared in public, with his mother reported to be fiercely protective of his privacy.

Comments on his appearance and behaviour from his father's critics often drew fierce rebukes from the first lady's office, as well as from other former first children, most notably Chelsea Clinton.

In a story this week confirmed by the Florida Republican Party, the high school senior was to be on Florida's list of 41 delegates, alongside family members and a number of Mr Trump's close allies.

As a delegate, Barron would stand on the convention floor and join the Florida delegation in formally nominating his father.

The three-day convention will see each of the nation's 50 states and territories do the same, and will end with Mr Trump confirmed as the Republican candidate for November's presidential election.

His son's first foray into politics drew a joyful response from Mr Trump, who described him in a Thursday interview with Telemundo 51 as "very cute".

"He's pretty young, I will say. He's 17," the former president said, appearing to misstate his age. "But if they can do that, I'm all for it."

In a separate interview, Mr Trump said his son, who is reportedly considering attending college at New York University (NYU), likes politics.

"It's sort of funny," he told Philadelphia's Talk Radio 1210 WPHT. "He'll tell me sometimes, 'Dad, this is what you have to do.'"

Mr Trump is currently fighting his first of four criminal trials, where he has been charged with falsifying business records in New York. He denies any wrongdoing.

He has been given special permission by the judge to take time out of court to attend Barron's high-school graduation next Friday.