Feb 23, 2018

Eric Trump: Russians "had nothing to do" with 2016 win

Eric Trump next to his wife. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Appearing on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" last night, Eric Trump defended his father against the Russian "hoax" claiming that as a member of the campaign, he could say from personal experience that the election victory had nothing to do with Russians.

"You know why my father won?  Because he went to Ohio, and he went to Michigan, he went to Wisconsin.  And he worked a lot harder and he had a better message and he sold that to the American people and they ultimately wanted a businessman in Washington, D.C., not a career politician.  That’s why my father won."
— Eric Trump

More highlights:

  • Democrats "will use absolutely anything they can to take [the president] down because they're afraid of all the successes," Trump said, noting how much success the country has had with the economy, veterans affairs and the fight against ISIS.
  • On critics saying the president needed notes to show emotion: "I think you saw the emotion... if you read the points, they're beautiful points ... he was amazing yesterday."
  • On gun control: "I’m a big Second Amendment person.  I also think something has to be done... I’m a big fan of background checks... [and] of other things."

Go deeper

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests continued across the country for the sixth day in a row on Sunday, as demonstrators called for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd, EMT Breonna Taylor, jogger Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black Americans who have suffered at the hands of racism and police brutality.

What's happening: Protestors in D.C. broke one police barricade outside the White House on Sunday evening after reportedly demonstrating for several hours. The atmosphere was still largely peaceful as of 6pm ET.

Trump privately scolded, warned by allies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Over the past couple of days, numerous advisers both inside and outside the White House have urged the president to tone down his violent rhetoric, which many worry could escalate racial tensions and hurt him politically.

Behind the scenes: The biggest source of internal concern was Trump's escalatory tweet, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Some advisers said it could damage him severely with independent voters and suburban women.