"Donald hates his birthdays," ex-wife Ivana Trump says

By Sean Neumann
June 14, 2021 07:31 PM
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Donald Trump
Donald Trump
| Credit: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty

Donald Trump turned 75 on Monday and marked his first birthday since leaving the White House in similar fashion to last year, at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

As with last year, he also spent much of his time issuing statements criticizing political rivals. Some of his family - son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle; plus football legend Herschel Walker and others - gathered with him to celebrate.

Much else, though, is different.

The former president faces mounting legal pressures since losing the veil of the Oval Office and the Republican Party that rallied this time last year to his re-election bid has seen a vocal minority of its lawmakers fracture away in the wake of Trump's lies about his loss.

He kept a low profile on Monday, though a source told PEOPLE he was expected to play golf while "the family will celebrate Donald's birthday together as they usually do."

Beyond Don Jr., who posted an Instagram video of a birthday singalong at Bedminster, it wasn't clear which other family members were with him Monday.

It was also unclear if former First Lady Melania Trump and the couple's teenage son, Barron, were in Bedminster, where the former president relocated from Florida for the summer.

"Donald hates his birthdays," ex-wife Ivana Trump, the mother of his three eldest children, tells PEOPLE. "So I did speak to him and wished him happy birthday and told him, 'Don't worry about your age.' Age is just a number, and his and mine [are] unlisted."

Donald and Melania Trump
From left: President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk on the South Lawn of the White House in December before boarding Marine One in Washington, D.C., on their way to Florida.
| Credit: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty

Trump's middle son, Eric Trump, posted a birthday tribute on Instagram and Lara Trump, Trump's daughter-in-law, also shared a photo of herself, Eric and their two young children with the former president on Instagram. "Happy birthday, Grandpa!!!!" she captioned the post.

Sources have said the former president has spent most of his days since leaving the White House golfing and lunching at his clubs, meeting with Republican leaders and a loose coterie of aides and continuing to push false claims about his 2020 election loss.

He has also continued to increase his appearances in conservative media, and his team has said he is likely to resume his rallies this summer.

Trump didn't publicly make note of his birthday Monday but did release several statements to the media - via email, since he was banned from social media after the U.S. Capitol attack.

Spokespeople for him didn't respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment on how he celebrated.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
| Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty

A social source close to the former first lady, 51, tells PEOPLE she was expected to be "going back and forth from New York and New Jersey to Florida" throughout the summer, although "everything in life that Melania likes is in Palm Beach."

"Even though Melania is usually near her husband in some capacity, she keeps her own schedule and leads her own life," the source says.

This source adds that - in their words - as irritating as her husband can be, Mrs. Trump "has a good life and knows it."

The New York Times reported earlier this month that President Trump has been commuting from New Jersey to Trump Tower in New York City at least once a week to work from his office in Manhattan. 

Paparazzi photographed him as recently as Sunday.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
| Credit: James Devaney/GC Images

Trump has repeatedly teased another run at the White House in 2024. A source close to him says it's a key part of his public relations campaign, such as it is.

"I don't think he has any intention of running for president again but he wants and needs attention," this source tells PEOPLE. "Being seen with his Republican colleagues and hosting rallies keeps his name out there. It makes him feel good, and it also helps with whatever else he plans to do in the coming months."

Trump is also mired in a number of serious legal issues ranging from New York state investigations into his private company's business dealings to lawsuits over his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which five people died, to a defamation lawsuit from noted advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who says he raped her in the 1990s.

He denies all wrongdoing.

Trump remains robustly popular with conservative voters and a majority of Republican lawmakers who, in deference to that popularity, have either downplayed, ignored or pushed back on criticism of his behavior around the Capitol attack.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, was booted from leadership for her continued criticism of Trump.

The source close to him says that "tremendous support" from the GOP will be useful, as ever, for himself.

"He is out there improving his brand," the source says. "He has tremendous support from the Republican Party and he will do with it what is best for him."

* With reporting by LINDA MARX