As concerns about false or misleading information from the Trump campaign heat up, many critics have their eyes on Donald Trump Jr., not the president himself. The eldest son of the Trump family has a long history of posting false information, conspiracy theories and racist material on social media, and he is not slowing down now. With the integrity of the 2020 presidential election in the balance, it's worth looking at his past posts.
Trump Jr. holds no official position in the Trump administration, making it all the more concerning when he speaks on his father's behalf. He is technically in charge of the Trump Organization while his father is busy with the presidency, but he has never shied away from political commentary during that time. In fact, many analysts are concerned that Trump Jr.'s rhetoric is far more extreme than his father's — Politico once referred to him as his "Dad's ambassador to the fringe," and he openly endorses alt-right pundits that his father only alludes to at most.
Trump Jr. has been suspended from Twitter several times for his incendiary posts and often complains that the platform is "censoring" him. He has come under fire for overt racism, but typically he is only punished when he posts outright false information about politics, public health or national news.
Trump Jr.'s controversies extend to other parts of the internet as well — in August of 2018, he posted a doctored image on Instagram claiming that CNN has reported a higher approval rating for his father than he actually got, for example. Many of Trump Jr.'s controversial moments also come from the tweets he publicly "likes," not the ones he posts. Those often include debunked conspiracy theories about the Clinton family, philanthropist George Soros and other political opponents.
Last year, Trump Jr. even told Fox & Friends that his father had warned him to tone down his tweets, saying his social media posts were "getting a little hot." So far, he has shown no sign of heeding that advice. Here is a look at Donald Trump Jr.'s most controversial tweets.
The best thing for America’s future is for @realDonaldTrump to go to total war over this election to expose all of the fraud, cheating, dead/no longer in state voters, that has been going on for far too long.
It’s time to clean up this mess & stop looking like a banana republic!— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 5, 2020
One of the most recent examples of Trump Jr.'s controversial Twitter presence comes from last week — two days after the 2020 presidential election — when he advised his father to "go to total war" with his political opponents. Many critics said that this was his way of re-framing a peaceful election as a more urgent struggle, potentially inciting real violence. The claims about voter fraud in the tweet had no supporting evidence.prevnext
The Radical Left is laying the groundwork to steal the 2020 Election from our president.
We need you to join ARMY FOR TRUMP’s election security operation!September 21, 2020
Trump Jr. also leads the Trump campaign's charge on calling out the "radical left" — an amorphous enemy with no real organization, federal law enforcement agencies say. In a recent "Team Trump" video, Trump Jr. called on supporters to "join an ARMY FOR TRUMP'S election security operation," to the shock of many.prevnext
70 million pissed off republicans and not one city burned to the ground.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 7, 2020
On the day that Joe Biden was projected to be the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Trump Jr. tweeted smugly that Republican voters were not rioting, referencing the Black Lives Matter protests from earlier this year. Now only was he widely criticized for comparing election results to a civil rights movement, he was disproven. Some responded with headlines about threats of violence at the polls.prevnext
It’s a shame that CNN’s ratings are down 41%. What’s worse is there’s a simple solution that they refuse to accept. Stop Lying to try to make @realDonaldTrump look bad. https://t.co/O3XyWchsJh pic.twitter.com/BCUCxKnOvO— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 16, 2018
Back in 2018 during Hurricane Florence, Trump Jr. tweeted a photo mocking CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, which showed him standing in waist-deep water while his camera crew was in only ankle-deep water. The photo turned out to be a decade old from previous hurricane coverage, and critics also disputed the idea that this was misleading, since Cooper was in a real flood zone, and his crew had to manage expensive equipment.prevnext
One of Trump Jr.'s most infamous tweets ever was deleted back in 2016, but it still comes up in screenshots from time to time. He posted a graphic comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles, saying that it was dangerous to accept any refugees if a few might turn out to be criminals. This drew backlash from all kinds of people — including the company that manufactures Skittles, and served as some of the first major resistance to the Trump administration's immigration rhetoric.prevnext
Trump came under fire in 2017 for suggesting that conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich should receive a Pulitzer for his published work online. Cernovich is a far-right pundit who has promoted conspiracy theories like "Pizzagate," and promotes broader ideas like "white genocide," which are deemed as dangerous by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center.prevnext
I assume she was very fearful of involuntary suicide??? https://t.co/sMM45gnTUE— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 5, 2017
Finally, before, during and after the 2016 election, Trump Jr. has been busy reviving far-out conspiracy theories about the Clinton family, all with no factual evidence. In 2016, he came under fire for suggesting that Bill and Hillary Clinton paid to have a political rival murdered, and then covered it up.prev