On Tuesday morning, Eric Trump confused Fox News viewers by referring to himself as "part of" the LGBTQ+ community. The younger Trump son was part of a panel on Fox & Friends, discussing the phenomenon of "secret Trump voters," many of whom he said identify as LGBTQ+ in some way. The clip of Trump's verbal slip-up quickly went viral online.
Trump was speaking quickly when he appeared to describe himself as "part of" the LGBTQ+ community on Tuesday. In full context, he seemed to be quoting a hypothetical LGBTQ+ voter of the kind he claims to talk to frequently. He said: "The LGBT community, they are incredible. And you should see how they come out in full force for my father every single day."
Eric Trump: "The LGBT community, they are incredible. And you should see how they come out in full force for my father every single day. I'm part of that community, and we love the man." pic.twitter.com/hl51ftW8l2— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 29, 2020
Trump then went on: "I'm part of that community, and we love the man." However, judging by his next remark, he was giving a sample of dialogue he might receive from an LGBTQ+ voter. He said: "Thank you for protecting our neighborhoods, and thank you for protecting our cities."
Still, the quote was easy to hear out of context, and social media had a field day with the idea that Trump would decide to publicly "come out" with some form of LGBTQ+ identity just one month before the 2020 presidential election. Responses ranged from jokes and jeers to derisive denials. Some revived old jokes about Trump's intelligence, speculating that he did not really know what LGBTQ+ means, but he didn't want to admit it.
As president, Donald Trump has a relatively poor track record on LGBTQ+ issues. In 2017, he rolled back protections for LGBTQ+ people in the workplace, which former President Barack Obama put in place. He also banned transgender Americans from serving openly in the U.S. Military, effectively forcing them back into the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
With all that in mind, critics got a kick out of Eric Trump's commentary on Tuesday. Here's a look at the responses his clip got.
Congrats to Eric Trump for coming out… I think? https://t.co/Opp4iZCssN— William LeGate 🇺🇸 (@williamlegate) September 29, 2020
Eric Trump has now clarified that he IS NOT part of the LGBTQ community after televised remarks in which he appeared to claim he was. https://t.co/JXfYdWPAJi— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 29, 2020
BREAKING: Eric Trump either:
a) just came out as gay on National TV (good for him)
b) Is so stupid that he doesn't realize that he just accidentally suggested he's gay on National TV (also good for him).pic.twitter.com/FjgcUwsjkq— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) September 29, 2020
Eric Trump: I'm part of the LGBT community.
Did Eric Trump just come out as LGBT or did Eric Trump just come out as not knowing what LGBT means?— JRehling (@JRehling) September 29, 2020
Eric Trump: "I'm part of [the LGBT] community."
The LGBT community: "No you're not."— Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) September 29, 2020
Eric Trump: "The LGBT community, they are incredible. And you should see how they come out in full force for my father every single day. I'm part of that community, and we love the man."
The LGBT community: pic.twitter.com/mV1kPIvIJw— Ben Yahr (@benyahr) September 29, 2020
When Eric Trump says “I’m part of that community and we love the man” he’s clearly quoting the LGBT people who talk to him about his dad but I’m in the mood for chaos...so carryon https://t.co/ZLJ3ZqcKrF— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 29, 2020
Other Odd Quotes
Eric Trump really, really wants you to know that he loves his father and his father loves him pic.twitter.com/KlRENYjfJY— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 29, 2020
“My father pays a fortune in taxes,” Eric Trump says, without saying whether his dad has paid federal income taxes.
Eric says it’s “part of investing billions and billions in this nation,” when Trump has actually borrowed and lost billions and billions.pic.twitter.com/Ipgi3EbeZX— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) September 29, 2020
CONFIRMED: Eric Trump is slated to join the season 3 cast of hit FX series “Pose”. pic.twitter.com/5bB84BPPUT— Giovanni’s Airbnb (@sadfuzzybttm) September 29, 2020
Gonna be honest, did not have “Eric Trump coming out on debate day” on my bingo card. https://t.co/HSRXugwBQU— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) September 29, 2020