Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of the former president, is a political activist, businessman, and television commentator. He has played a visible role in his father’s political ambitions and was actively involved in campaigning for him and other Republicans during his administration.
Trump Jr. is also executive vice president of the Trump Organization, the real estate firm founded by his father and recently subjected to numerous investigations and lawsuits for corruption and fraud. After working for the organization his entire career, he took over managing the firm after his father won the 2016 presidential election and ostensibly bowed out in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
Trump Jr. has promulgated right-wing extremist conspiracy theories, including the Big Lie about the 2020 election, and has accused large tech companies of conspiring to push a liberal agenda and silence the Right.
January 6, 2021
- Trump Jr. attended the March to Save America rally at the Ellipse. He was seen backstage at the event in which his father called on his supporters—many of whom he knew were armed—to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.”
- As the riot intensified, Trump Jr. urged his father to intervene to condemn the violence and tell his supporters to stand down and go home. “He’s got to condemn this sh*t ASAP,” he wrote in a text message to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. “The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”
- In May 2022, members of the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection interviewed Trump Jr. to find out more about the planning behind the day’s events and his father’s inaction that afternoon.
- In June 2022, Trump Jr. dismissed the committee’s investigation as “political theater.” He also called it a “BS J6 inquisition” because committee members didn’t discuss a memo that he said his father had issued in order to ensure the safety of participants in the March to Save America rally.
- In September 2021, Trump Jr. mocked undercover law enforcement officers who were present at a rally in Washington held to show support for Jan. 6 insurrectionists being held as “political prisoners.” He derided the officers on scene as an “absolute joke … forced into these bullshit situations to entrap Americans.”
The Big Lie
- Prior to the 2020 election, Trump Jr. spread lies about election fraud purportedly perpetrated by Democrats. In a September 2020 campaign video he said, “The radical left are laying the groundwork to steal this election from my father. Their plan is to add millions of fraudulent ballotways to ensure that his father secured a second terms that can cancel your vote and overturn the election.”
- Trump Jr. used his social media accounts to share various lies of voter fraud, including that dead people had voted and poll workers had altered ballots. In particular, he amplified debunked claims that poll workers in Pennsylvania were filling in empty ballots. The fact is that officials in Delaware County were forced to carefully replicate information on a small number of damaged ballots that were not able to be read by machines.
- In the weeks after the election, Trump Jr. strategized with other members of Trump’s inner circle on ways to keep his father in power regardless of the vote count. Strategies discussed included filing lawsuits and demanding audits to ensure that states could not certify their results. In one text to Meadows about not conceding to Biden, he wrote: “We have operational control Total leverage” and added: “Moral High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now.”