Robert and Ann Marie Pallan were married this year, more than a decade after he ended his marriage to Blaine Trump. They lived on Long Island, where Robert was often seen at local bars boasting about his brother.
The president was keenly aware of the accolades. “He was my biggest fan,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox & Friends” this week. “People would tell me all the time, ‘I spoke to your brother, and your brother was so thrilled.’ And so thrilled at what was happening.”
In “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” Mary L. Trump, a clinical psychologist and Mr. Trump’s only niece, recounts how the two brothers worked together in an effort to cut her inheritance and health benefits from a family trust. Ms. Trump, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., Mr. Trump’s older brother who died in 1981, describes Robert Trump as the enforcer.
Robert defended his brother in July, when Ms. Trump’s book was published.
“I and the rest of my entire family are so proud of my wonderful brother, the president, and feel that Mary’s actions are truly a disgrace,” Robert Trump said in a statement.
While several presidents, including John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, have lain in state in the East Room, the largest room in the White House, it is unusual to have a funeral there for a president’s relative.
White House officials said that Mr. Trump would pay for the funeral expenses, and that his brother’s body was driven from New York for the funeral on Friday.
“It’s clearly not something we’ve seen often,” said Anita McBride, a board member of the White House Historical Association and the chief of staff to Laura Bush when Mrs. Bush was first lady. “But this is their family home that we loan to them to use while they are in office.”