Parents can play favorites with their children in the worst ways. All it takes are a few offhand comments (or outright declarations) about the choices siblings have made, and it becomes clear who mom thinks is the Smart One, who dad thinks is the Responsible One, and in Tiffany Trump's case, which kid might be the Disinherited One.
Yesterday, Newsweek revealed that it obtained a previously unreleased transcript, and several audio files containing 15 hours of Donald Trump talking with "shock jock" Howard Stern.
The interviews took place at various points between 1995 and August 2015. In one file from December 2005, Newsweek says Trump told Stern that "Ivanka and Donald Jr. weren't happy when they discovered they'd have another sibling."
When Stern asks if "Donald Jr. and Ivanka were trying to 'bump off a child," Trump "immediately responded with, 'Tiffany?'"
"'Is there any truth to that? [Inaudible] Tiffany?'" Stern asked, according to Newsweek. "Trump said he had great children and evaded the question until Stern asked again: 'Tell me the truth, though.'
"'Yes,' Trump said."
According to the Newsweek article, Trump explained that aside from money, he had plans to leave "at least" Trump Online University and Trump Ice to his children who do inherit. The former no longer exists, and in November, the president agreed to pay $25 million to settle a series lawsuits tied to the fraudulent venture. The latter company, also known as Trump Natural Spring Water, is sold at Trump hotels, restaurants, and golf clubs around the world.
Tiffany, the president's fourth child and the daughter of Marla Maples, grew up apart from her older siblings. If there is in fact infighting over the president's widely disputed net worth, the Trump children aren't alone.
Earlier this year, a study from Ameriprise Financial found that roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults between ages 25 and 70 talk openly about money with their siblings, as Ivanka and Donald Jr. evidently do. Only 15% of those siblings said they had financial conflicts with each other, but nearly 70% of the siblings who did harbor disagreements said that parents were at the heart of the problem.
"The top issues revolve around how an inheritance is divided, whether a sibling supports their parents more than other siblings, and if parents are being fair in their financial support," Ameriprise noted, explaining that the key to resolving disputes was more conversation, sooner, before any worst-case scenarios.
So, how inheritance is split is a common issue for siblings in the U.S. But to determine that, the Trump children will have to get their hands on those tax returns first.