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Donald Trump Jr.

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Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump, Jr. (30309613870).jpg
Trump in October 2016
Born Donald John Trump Jr.
(1977-12-31) December 31, 1977 (age 39)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Other names Don Jr.
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (BS)
Occupation
  • Businessman
  • television personality
Known for Executive in the Trump Organization
Former boardroom judge on The Apprentice
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Vanessa Haydon (m. 2005)
Children 5
Parent(s) Donald Trump
Ivana Zelníčková
Relatives See Trump family

Donald John Trump Jr. (born December 31, 1977) is an American businessman and former reality TV personality. He is the oldest child of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his first wife, Ivana.

A fourth generation businessman following in the footsteps of his great-grandmother (who founded what became the Trump Organization) (Elizabeth Trump), grandfather Fred Trump, and father, he currently works alongside his brother Eric as a trustee and executive director of a trust that controls The Trump Organization. The trust was established to oversee all his father's assets during the latter's presidency.

Trump Jr. also has been involved in politics, especially during his father's presidential campaign. He has faced criticism following the 2017 revelation of a meeting with a Russian lawyer, with the promise of receiving damaging information about the campaign of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.[2][3][4]

Early life and education

Trump Jr. was born on December 31, 1977 in Manhattan, New York City, to Ivana Marie (née Zelníčková) and Donald John Trump. He has two younger siblings, Ivanka and Eric. He also has two half siblings, Tiffany, from his father's marriage to Marla Maples, and Barron, from his father's current marriage to Melania Trump.

As a child, he encountered reporters asking about his parents' widely publicized divorce. To protect her children, Ivana Trump sent them to boarding school.[5] Trump Jr. was educated at Buckley School[6][7] and The Hill School, a university-preparatory boarding school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, followed by the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, where he earned a B.S. degree in Economics.[8]

Career

Business

After college graduation, Trump moved to Aspen, Colorado. He hunted, fished, skied, lived in a truck, and worked as a bartender for a year before returning to New York and joining the Trump Organization. Trump has supervised building projects, including 40 Wall Street, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and Trump Park Avenue.[5] He appeared as a guest adviser and judge on many episodes of his father's reality television show The Apprentice, from season 5 in 2006 to his father's last season in 2015.

On January 11, 2017, his father announced that he and his brother Eric would oversee a trust that included the Trump Organization assets while his father was President, in order to avert a conflict of interest.[9]

Politics

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump Jr. campaigned for his father.[10] He was characterized by The New York Times as "a close political adviser to his father."[11] The New York Times also said "Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump — the children from the elder Trump’s first marriage, to Ivana Trump — all spoke at the Republican National Convention and have been key players in their father’s White House run."[11] Some members of his father's campaign have nicknamed him "Fredo," a reference to Fredo Corleone, a fictional character from The Godfather.[12]

In December 2016, the Wall Street Journal and Politico reported that Trump Jr. influenced his father's choice of Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.[13][14]

In 2017, he has campaigned for congressional candidates Karen Handel[citation needed] and Greg Gianforte.[15][16] In May 2017, Trump Jr. met with Republican National Committee officials to discuss the party’s strategy and resources.[17]

Veselnitskaya meeting

On June 9, 2016, Trump Jr. attended a meeting arranged by publicist Rob Goldstone on behalf of Emin Agalarov.[18] The meeting was held in Trump Tower in New York City between three members of the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign: Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort – and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, her translator Anatoli Samochornov, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, and Ike Kaveladze, a Russian-American, US-based senior vice president at Crocus Group, the real estate development company run by Aras Agalarov.[18]

Approximately a year later, Trump Jr. initially told the media that adoption of Russian children was the main subject of the meeting.[19] On July 8, 2017, Trump Jr. tweeted his email exchange with Goldstone in an effort to provide full disclosure regarding the events leading up to the meeting, specifically that he had agreed to attend with the understanding he would receive information damaging to Hillary Clinton, which he considered opposition research.[20] Goldstone also stated in one of Trump Jr.'s publicly-disclosed emails that the Russian government was involved.[20] Robert Mueller, the special counsel of the Department of Justice in charge of Russia-related investigations, is investigating the emails and the meeting.[21]

Correspondence between Trump and Wikileaks

In November 2017, it was revealed that Julian Assange via the Wikileaks Twitter account corresponded with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 presidential election. Trump Jr. had already provided this correspondence to congressional investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[22]

The correspondence shows how Wikileaks actively solicited the cooperation of Trump Jr., a campaign surrogate and advisor in the campaign of his father. WikiLeaks urged the Trump campaign to reject the results of the 2016 presidential election at a time when it looked as if the Trump campaign would lose. Wikileaks asked Trump Jr. to share a false claim by Assange that Hillary Clinton had wanted to attack him with drones. Wikileaks also shared a link to a site that would help people to search through Wikileaks documents. Trump Jr. shared both.[22]

Other notable activities

In 2011, Trump Jr. responded to criticism of the Tea Party movement by Florida Representative Frederica Wilson by confusing Wilson with California Representative Maxine Waters and saying that her colorful hats made her look like a stripper.[23]

During his father's presidential campaign, Trump Jr. drew controversy for posting an image comparing refugees to Skittles, saying "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem."[11][24][25] The makers of Skittles condemned the tweet, saying "Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don't feel it's an appropriate analogy."[25][11]

Another controversy arose when Trump Jr. retweeted remarks by psychologist Kevin B. MacDonald about alleged favors exchanged by Hillary Clinton and Switzerland's largest bank (McDonald has been accused of anti-semitism for some of his writings).[11] On the campaign trail, Trump Jr. promoted Alex Jones' conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton wore an earpiece to a presidential forum[26][27][28] and that official unemployment rates were manipulated for political purposes.[29]

In September 2016, Trump Jr. cited Holocaust imagery to criticize what he perceived as the mainstream media's seemingly uncritical coverage of Hillary Clinton during her campaign, by "letting her slide on every discrepancy", while also accusing Democrats involved in the 2016 campaign of lying. Trump Jr. said if the Republicans were committing the same offences mainstream outlets would be "...warming up the gas chamber right now."[30][31] Also that month, Trump Jr. shared an image on Instagram depicting a cross between his father and Pepe the Frog. When asked on Good Morning America about Pepe the Frog and its associations with white supremacy, Trump Jr. said he had never heard of Pepe the Frog and thought it was just a "frog with a wig."[32]

In March 2017, Trump Jr. criticized the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, after the 2017 Westminster attack, which in turn led British lawmakers to criticize Trump Jr.[33][34][35][36] British journalists said that Trump Jr. had quoted Khan out of context when he criticized him.[35][36] Khan did not respond to the criticism, saying he had "far more important things" to do.[34] In April 2017, he lauded Mike Cernovich who promoted the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory, saying, "In a long gone time of unbiased journalism he'd win the Pulitzer".[37][38] In May 2017, Trump Jr. promoted the "long-debunked, far-right conspiracy theory" that Bill Clinton was linked to Vince Foster's death.[39] In November 2017, Trump Jr. again promoted the conspiracy theory that the Clintons murdered people.[40]

In September 2017, Trump Jr. asked to have his Secret Service detail removed, telling friends he wanted more privacy. The request was criticized by former Secret Service agents.[41] Trump Jr.'s protection was restored later that month.[42]

On October 31, 2017, Trump Jr. tweeted that he would take away half of his three-year old daughter's Halloween candy because, he wrote, it’s never to [sic] early to teach her about socialism."[43]

On November 7, 2017, Trump Jr. issued two tweets urging voters in Virginia's gubernatorial election to vote "tomorrow," the day after the election.[44]

Personal life

Trump Jr. married model Vanessa Kay Haydon (born December 18, 1977) on November 12, 2005, at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida; the service was officiated by Trump Jr's aunt, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry.[45] Haydon is the daughter of Bonnie and Charles Haydon,[46] and is of half Jewish and half Danish descent (granddaughter of Danish jazz musician Kai Ewans).[47][48][49][50] She is an alumna of the Dwight School[51] and studied psychology at New York's Marymount Manhattan College.[46] They have five children (two daughters and three sons), born in 2007 and later.[52]

In his childhood, Trump Jr. learned to hunt and fish by spending time with his maternal grandfather in what was then Czechoslovakia.[53] Controversy erupted in 2012 when pictures surfaced of an African hunting trip Trump Jr. had taken in 2010. In one photo Trump Jr. has his arms around an endangered, dead leopard, and in another he is holding a knife in one hand and a bloody elephant tail in the other. Although the hunt was legal, many people were outraged, and at least one sponsor dropped his father's Celebrity Apprentice TV show.[54] On Earth Day in 2017, Trump Jr. hunted prairie dogs with Greg Gianforte.[55] Controversy over Trump Jr.'s big game hunting surfaced again in November, 2017 following the Trump administration's decision to allow "importing elephant heads, feet and other body parts severed as trophies after the animals are shot for sport in Zimbabwe."[56]

References

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External links