When Pamela Karlan made a poor joke about the Trump minor during her testimony at an impeachment hearing, it didn't go down too well.
At an impeachment inquiry hearing held on Wednesday, December 4, legal scholar Pamela Karlan testified in favor of impeaching United States President Donald Trump. Unfortunately, while her testimony may not have gained the recognition it deserved, a rather controversial part of it definitely did. During her otherwise regular testimony, she made a joke about Trump's son Barron. The joke has not been received well, with many suggesting that Karlan should have left the President's young children out of it entirely. Others, however, have claimed it to be a non-issue. First lady Melania Trump falls under the former group. In a statement released shortly after the hearing, she affirmed that children — and Barron in particular — should be kept out of politics, CNN reports.
In a tweet aimed at the scholar, Trump argued: A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it. This is the first time the first lady has voiced her opinions about the impeachment hearings. The joke in question was in reference to criticism of President Trump's appointments, which many claim are rather nepotistic in nature. Karlan had stated in her testimony during the hearing, "The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the President can name his son Barron, he can't make him a baron."
However, first lady Trump's tweet was not the first time Karlan received criticism of her so-called "joke." At the hearing itself, following her testimony, one of the President's most loyal supporters, Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, responded during his period of questioning at the hearing. He said, "Let me also suggest that when you invoke the President's son's name here when you try to make a little joke out of referencing Barron Trump, that does not lend credibility to your argument. It makes you look mean. It makes you look like you're attacking someone's family, the minor child of the President of the United States."
Others piled onto the backlash bandwagon as well. Vice President Mike Pence stated while at an appearance in Holland, Michigan, "The impeachment hearings today reached a new low. I just heard at the hearing today, one of the Democrats' witnesses actually used the President and first lady's 13-year-old son to justify their partisan impeachment. Democrats should be ashamed. Enough is enough." Interestingly enough, staunch anti-Trumper and 2016 Presidential competitor Hillary Clinton, too, defended Barron's right to privacy. Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea was one year younger than Barron when husband Bill Clinton assumed office, asserted, "It's high time the media and everyone leave Barron Trump alone and let him have the private childhood he deserves."
Karlan, who works as a professor at Stanford Law, has since responded to the criticism with what appears to be a genuine apology. She said, "I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the President's son, it was wrong of me to do that. I wish the President would apologize, obviously, for the things he's done that's wrong, but I do regret having said that." Hopefully, this small hiccup does not derail the Democratic Party's larger and more pressing goal of impeaching the President. After all, he has done far worse than making a small joke about someone's children — like locking their children up in cages, for example. As the impeachment hearings surge forward, this incident should not be at the center of the narrative. It's still game on, Trump.