9 Details From 'GQ's Donald Jr. Profile That Will Change How You See Trump's Eldest Son
The president's eldest son has been a source of intrigue, fascination and memes ever since his father launched his political career. On Thursday, GQ magazine published a profile of Donald Trump Jr. that sheds some light on the young Trump's upbringing, and it has plenty of details that may change the way you see Don Jr.
A longtime employee of his father's company, Trump Jr. later became a reliable surrogate for the Trump campaign, appearing at rallies and tweeting out memes in support of his father. He quickly gained a following among the alt-right wing of Donald Trump's base, with alt-right figurehead Mike Cernovich telling GQ that Don Jr. is "royalty." The president's eldest son has also retweeted white supremacist accounts on more than one occasion, earning him praise from prominent neo-Nazis as well as garden-variety Trump supporters.
Later, Trump Jr. found himself at the center of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation after it was reported that in 2016, he met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer who promised to provide incriminating information on Hillary Clinton.
But all of that had already been publicly reported. Here are some new insights about Trump Jr. from Julia Ioffe's GQ profile that may surprise you.
Both His Parents Left Him Right After He Was Born
Trump Jr. was born on Dec. 31, 1977. After his birth, his father went home to celebrate New Year's Eve, while Trump Jr.'s mother Ivana "put a boa and a mink over her hospital gown" and went to a visit a friend in a different part of the hospital. Trump Jr. was left in the care of the hospital's nursery, GQ reports.
When He Was A Baby, His Dad Feared He'd Be A "Loser"
According to GQ, Trump didn't want his firstborn son to share his name. "What if he's a loser?" he asked Ivana when she suggested bestowing his name upon their son.
Trump Used A Name He Hates As Don Jr.'s Nickname
Trump called his son "Donny" when he was a kid, according to GQ. In his book The Art of the Deal, Trump wrote that Donny is "a name I hate."
He's Had Complicated Experiences With Nannies
While under the care of one nanny, Trump Jr. broke his leg and almost drowned, according to GQ. Later, he reportedly found another nanny of his passed out from a heart attack in his mom's basement. She died at the hospital.
As A Kid, He Loved Spending Time In Communist Czechoslovakia
GQ reports that amid his largely unhappy childhood, Trump Jr. found relief with his maternal grandparents in Czechoslovakia. In Ivana Trump's memoir, her oldest son wrote that "being in Czechoslovakia with my grandfather was the most memorable time in my life," while Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci told GQ that the first son found his time in the then-communist country "grounding" compared to the hustle and bustle of New York City.
He Used To Be Uninterested In Politics
Trump Jr.'s associates tell GQ that he never seemed to care about politics one way or the other until his father launched his presidential campaign. “I don't remember him having political views,” one college friend told the magazine.
His Dad Scolded Him For Trusting Him
When Trump Jr. and his siblings were kids, their father would often tell them to "trust no one," GQ reports. As a test, he once asked his children, "Do you trust me, your own father?" When they replied that they did, Trump scolded them: "What did I just tell you? You didn't take the lesson!"
His Dad Used Him As A Bargaining Chip During His Divorce
When Donald and Ivana Trump were getting divorced, Donald Trump summoned Trump Jr. from his mother's residence and told her that he was going to raise him alone. "Okay, keep him," Ivana Trump replied, according to GQ. Donald Trump, having had no intention of caring for his son alone, reportedly returned Trump Jr. to his mother a few minutes later.
He Once Refused To Speak To His Dad For A Year
After being told that Donald Trump cheated on Ivana Trump with Marla Maples, Trump Jr. didn't speak to his father for a year, according to GQ.
After the GQ profile was published, Trump Jr. retweeted a Breitbart article alleging that, during the writing of the article, a GQ researcher emailed the Trump Organization to ask if Trump Jr. ever "felt any oedipal impulses" (The final article didn't refer to this at all).
"Journalistic integrity at its finest," Trump Jr. wrote, along with a link to the Breitbart article. "Seems like a question they would ask other politicians [sic] kids as well right?"
However, Trump Jr. hasn't addressed, confirmed, or refuted any of the claims that did end up in GQ's report.