Donald Trump Jr attended Global Business Summit 2018 held in New Delhi (Shutterstock/Madhuram Paliwal)
The president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., airs some of the family’s grievances over the probe into Russian 2016 election meddling -- and many other topics, including Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize -- in a new book.
Trump Jr. also shares some personal anecdotes about growing up Trump: lobbing faux spiders into his parents’ friends’ cocktails, and playing Nintendo with pop star Michael Jackson. There’s also a nod to speculation that he might run for office one day.
“Turns out I’m not a Russian agent after all!” Trump Jr., 41, writes in “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,” to be published Nov. 5, according to an advance copy of the part political screed, part autobiography seen by Bloomberg News.
The 294-page book reads at times like an extended version of a tweetstorm Trump Jr. says his lawyers and even his father, the tweeter-in-chief, asked him tone down during the Russia investigation.
Trump Jr. says most people would be content to move on after the special counsel’s team found what he called “zero evidence of collusion or obstruction.” Instead, he lashes out at the investigators, the media, Democrats and “social justice warriors.”
“I have to admit that I almost felt bad for Robert Mueller during that testimony. And if it weren’t for the fact that I was probably number two on the guy’s kill list for years, I might have,” he writes.
Echoing his father, Trump Jr. complains about how the “mainstream media manipulates the news” by using anonymous sources, and what he called “creative editing” and misleading information.
He said one of the “big whoppers was that I knew about the WikiLeaks dump” of Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign ahead of time. A CNN report on the subject “was based on information from an email I supposedly received six days before the dump,” Trump Jr. writes. In fact, he says, the email was received on Sept. 14, not Sept. 4 as reported: “Someone conveniently left out the number one.”
He jokes that “in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not exactly a Hallmark card type of guy,” but argues that the line is crossed when “hatred that fomented online”’ manifests in physical acts as “people try to shut down speakers with whom they don’t agree.” He mentioned the shooting of Republican lawmakers during a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2017, which almost killed Representative Steve Scalise.
“As I was working on this book, my brother Eric walked into a bar in Chicago and a waitress there spat in his face. The Secret Service had to lead her outside before the confrontation could get worse,” he writes.
The younger Trump defends his father throughout the book, including pushing back a number of times on charges that the president is racist. He said when he was a kid, Michael Jackson lived in Trump Tower and came over to play video games with him and Eric.
“Oh, and by the way, given all the things my father has been called, particularly a ‘racist,’ it sure sounds odd that he’d let his son vacation with a black man or hang out with Michael Jackson, doesn’t it? If he’s a racist, he’s sure not very good at it.”
Trump Jr. also suggests that his father is more deserving of the Nobel Prize than Obama, who was honored in 2009 for efforts to strengthen international diplomacy, citing the former president’s policies in the Middle East.
Among the personal anecdotes: how escaping to prep school in Pennsylvania helped him avoid the media coverage of his father’s divorce from his mother, Ivana Trump. The day his parents dropped him off at his dorm room at the Hill School, “we also stopped at Taco Bell, where my mother ordered a glass of chardonnay,” he wrote.
He said he discovered he didn’t know how to drink in moderation during his gap year, when he lived in a small, rented house in Aspen, Colorado, with some roommates. “Drinking alcohol was a recipe for disaster,” he writes. “Eventually I would give up drinking for good.”
As well as recounting pranks played by the Trump kids decades ago on wealthy guests at the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, the family’s winter home, Trump Jr. writes that he teased his sister Ivanka -- now an assistant to the president -- that he was going to “include some scandalous secrets about her” in his book. In the end, the material from Ivanka’s “teen years” went unrecorded.
“We are Trumps,” he tells his four siblings in the book’s acknowledgments. “We don’t play the victim card, and we will succeed here as well.”