“My father decided to get into politics at 68," Don Jr. told Bloomberg this week. "I’m 41, I’ve got plenty of time"
President Donald Trump’s eldest son said this week that his own run for office, sometime in the future, was not off the table.
“My father decided to get into politics at 68,” Don Jr. continued. “I’m 41, I’ve got plenty of time.”
He did not specify what office he might consider but, speaking broadly of “the future,” he said: “I never want to rule it out. I definitely enjoy the fight. I definitely like being out there and I love being able to see the impact and the difference that it makes on these people’s lives that I get to see all over the country.”
The Trump family has unusually blended their political and private worlds. President Trump did not give up his real-estate interests when he took office, instead handing them off to his sons, while his daughter continues to advise him in the White House.
It’s a closeness critics say can too easily give rise to self-dealing and unethical behavior.
For example, Don Jr. traveled to India last year to discuss foreign policy at an event with the Indian prime minister, according to the Washington Post. But prospective home-buyers could also spend about $38,000 to attend a private dinner with him.
“Trump’s company is literally selling access to the president’s son overseas,” a spokesman for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told the Post at the time. “For many people wanting to impact American policy in the region, the cost of a condo is a small price to pay to lobby one of the people closest to the president, far away from watchful eyes.”
Eric told the Post in 2017 that politics and business in their family were “completely separated.”
Don Jr. has become one of his father’s most visible surrogates, despite the fact that he does not actually work in the Trump administration. He and Eric run the family’s Trump Organization.
Still, Don Jr. has been a regular in dozens of campaign events and on cable news appearances. He is the Trump who most closely adopted his father’s aggressive social media style.
Sister Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, followed their dad to the White House where she and Kushner are senior aides. In his disputed 2018 book Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff reported that Ivanka had her own designs on being the first female president.
Vicky Ward’s unflattering Kushner, Inc., released this month, also reported that Ivanka has political ambitions: According to one former administration official, “She thinks she’s going to be president of the United States. She thinks this is like the Kennedys, the Bushes and now the Trumps.”
(Like Fire and Fury, Ward’s book was dismissed by the White House.)
But it is Don Jr. who has talked openly about a possible career in politics. In April 2017, two years before his Bloomberg interview, he speculated about a gubernatorial run in New York while speaking at a gun club event there, Page Six reported at the time.
“Don Jr. said he is interested in running for office, such as governor of New York,” a guest told the paper, “but the position of mayor of New York would be less interesting to him.”
According to this guest, Don Jr. told attendees, “Do I want to be behind the scenes and be a mouthpiece and fight back against crazy liberal media? Maybe.”
But, jokingly, he said: Going back to doing deals is boring after 18 months. The politics bug bit me.”