Aug 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Donald Trump Jr.'s dark prediction: Silent majority could become "silenced majority"

Donald Trump Jr. in front of a microphone
Donald Trump Jr. in Phoenix, Arizona, June 23. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. touted his father's response to the coronavirus pandemic and invoked the idea of "cancel culture" in his headline speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday.

Details: He warned that "Joe Biden and the radical left are also now coming for our freedom of speech and want to bully us into submission," adding:  "If they get their way, it will no longer be the 'silent majority,' it will be the "silenced majority.'"

  • "Our founders believed there was nothing more important than protecting our God given right to think for ourselves. Now the left, they’re trying to cancel all of those founders. They don’t seem to understand this important principle. In order to improve in the future, we must learn from our past, not erase it. So we’re not going to tear down monuments and forget the people who built our great nation," he said.

What else he's saying: President Trump's son accused Biden of being too weak on China and called him "basically the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp," saying that he "doesn't do much in between" his bids for the presidency.

  • Trump Jr. also claimed that ""Beijing Biden is so weak on China that the Intelligence Community recently assessed that the Chinese Communist Party favors Biden."
  • Reality check: The counterintelligence community assessment to which he referred did find that the Chinese government would prefer the president lose the election because it views him as "unpredictable," but it did not state that China preferred Biden.

On COVID-19, Trump Jr. said the president "quickly took action and shut down travel from China" in his first policy action in February in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

  • Reality check: The president only restricted travel, rather than shut it down. Travel from the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macao to the U.S. was permitted, AP points out.

Of note: President Trump told Axios in late July that the coronavirus pandemic was as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, on the heels of a summer that brought dramatic surges in new infections and a death toll that surpassed 150,0o0 people.

  • Early missteps allowed the coronavirus to initially spread throughout the U.S. for weeks before state and local officials implemented strict lockdowns designed to keep the virus from spinning further out of control.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that Trump Jr. did not specifically mention Confederate statues in his speech. (His full quote on the removal of monuments has been included above.)

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