The White House issued a statement Tuesday addressing the issue of press coverage and public comments about President Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son, Barron.
The brief statement reads in full: “It is a longstanding tradition that the children of presidents are afforded the opportunity to grow up outside of the political spotlight. The White House fully expects this tradition to continue. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”
The statement comes in the context of Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich’s Inauguration Day tweet: “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.”
Don’t be like Katie. pic.twitter.com/vrYA4gtq58
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) January 21, 2017
The story went viral, with most finding making fun of the president’s 10-year-old son beyond the pale.
The executives at NBC apparently agreed, suspending the SNL writer indefinitely, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Rich has been with the program since 2013 and writes primarily for the “Weekend Update” portion of the show, which often focuses on political issues.
The writer deleted the tweet Friday and then deactivated her account.
On Monday, she reactivated her account and issued an apology:
I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.
— Katie Rich (@katiemaryrich) January 23, 2017
Chelsea Clinton, who was 12 when her father, Bill Clinton, was elected president, came to Barron’s defense, tweeting he deserves the chance “to be a kid.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway weighed in the controversy with the hope that the press will now lay off Trump’s youngest son.
Let’s see if double standard for Trumps can be a single standard when it comes to such a simple and decent appeal. Do what’s right, folks. https://t.co/0SzWn1bwz1
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 24, 2017
The media, by and large, have followed the unwritten rule of not reporting on the lives of presidents’ non-adult children, including Malia and Sasha Obama, Jenna and Barbara Bush and Chelsea Clinton.
However, some on social media have felt free to comment on Barron Trump, including a YouTube poster who created a video falsely suggesting the boy has autism. The video was removed after Barron’s mother, Melania Trump, threatened a lawsuit.
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