“Though I had no political experience, he believed in me," Lara, a Trump campaign adviser, said Wednesday

By Sean Neumann
August 26, 2020 11:19 PM
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Lara Trump speaking Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump defended the first family's character and touted the president's professional relationships with women in a mostly biographical speech Wednesday night during the Republican National Convention.

"Never in a million years did I think that I would be on this stage tonight and I certainly never thought I'd end up with the last name Trump," said Lara, 37.

Lara is a senior adviser on the Trump 2020 campaign and former Inside Edition producer who married Trump's middle son, Eric Trump, in 2014.

In a speech that largely reflected the Trump administration's common defenses of the controversial president, while also striking a notably more personal tone than other speakers this week, Lara warned Republican supporters of "distorted news" while describing Trump, 74, as a champion of women.

What she did not mention was her father-in-law's history of sexist and racist attack on his rivals and those who displease him and a history of coarse language epitomized by notorious 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which he bragged about touching women's genitals.

That was not the man Lara described.

"Any preconceived notion I had of this family disappeared immediately,” she said Wednesday, remembering the first time she met the Trumps before she married Eric. 

Eric, now 36, and Lara married in 2014 at the Trumps’ Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida after dating for six years.

They have two children together.

In the years since their marriage, the couple has embraced the family's turn toward politics. Both spoke during this week's RNC events in Washington, D.C., during which Eric also reflected on their family.

Both Eric and Lara used parts of their speeches for harsher critiques of Joe Biden and the Democrats as well.

But, in a night ostensibly focused on "heroes," Lara like other speakers opted for a more personal pose for much of her speech and, like others, implicitly worked to humanize the polarizing president.

She said that she sees the Trump family as "warm and caring" and "down to earth" and that they remind her of her own relatives.

"Walking the halls of the Trump organization, I saw the same family environment," she said. "I also saw the countless women executives who thrived there year after year. Gender didn't matter; what mattered was the ability to get the job done."

The president's daughter-in-law said she learned that lesson herself when she joined Trump's 2016 campaign to help him win North Carolina — her home state.

“Though I had no political experience, he believed in me," she said. "He knew I was capable, even if I didn’t.”

From left: Lara and Eric Trump
Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

Trump's family members have all held prominent roles during this week's mostly remote RNC.

First Lady Melania Trump delivered the closing speech during Tuesday night's slate of speakers, while all four of the president's adult children will have spoken by the end of the convention — including Eric, his older brother Donald Jr., and their younger sister Tiffany.

White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, the eldest Trump daughter, is expected to introduce her dad Thursday night before he accepts the party's re-nomination for president.

In contrast to the picture of togetherness painted by Lara on Wednesday, the Trumps have contended with family tensions this summer: The president's niece Mary Trump released a scathing, bestselling memoir about him and later leaked audio of his sister Maryanne disparaging him.

Maryanne was notably absent from the funeral for their younger brother, Robert, who died earlier this month.

In her memoir, Mary wrote of a dinner she attended in which the president said he "barely even knew" Lara until she gave a speech about him. The White House has said her book is full of "falsehoods."