President Donald Trump would be a "step down," GOP candidate's son says

If the White House isn't gold, it isn't worth it

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published October 20, 2016 2:24PM (EDT)


According to Donald Trump Jr., winning the presidency would actually be a “step down” for his father.

In an interview with Fox News shortly after the debate, Trump Jr. tried to spin his father’s unpolished performance by arguing that his father wasn’t a “career politician” and that “if he had been doing this for his whole life, he’d be the greatest politician in the history of the world.” This wasn’t the worst spin that Trump Jr. could have chosen after a debate that most viewers felt he had lost, but then he took things one step too far.

“Unlike Hillary Clinton, who's gotten very rich being a politician, peddling American influence, he hasn't — this is only a step down," Trump went on to say.

Trump's father, who may or may not actually be a billionaire, supports himself and his lavish lifestyle. Trump owns a $100 million penthouse suite in Manhattan, an opulent mansion that has been compared to that once owned by Saddam Hussein, and extravagances ranging from a personal helicopter and private jet to a personal yacht and, of course, Trump Tower.

By contrast, the taxpayer-funded airplane (no gold plating? Sad!) and the taxpayer-funded housing (white is boring. Gold is better) would be a step down for the billionaire.

This isn’t the first time that Trump Jr., like his father, has made controversial and even offensive comments. He has referred to women he dislikes as “bitches,” claimed that President Obama calling out racism is in itself racist, lamented not being able to make jokes about fat people, ridiculed child pageant stars who are abused by their parents, poked fun at Muslim names, jokingly gave “two thumbs up” to the movie that was being screened at the theater in Aurora, Colorado that suffered a mass shooting, and doubled down on his father’s claim that a disproportionate number of undocumented Mexican immigrants are rapists. He also has ties to white supremacist groups and the alt right, both groups that have backed his father’s presidential campaign with gusto.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012, was a guest on Fox Business in 2019, repeatedly warned of Trump's impending refusal to concede during the 2020 election, spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California in 2021, was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022 and appeared on NPR in 2023. His diverse interests are reflected in his interviews including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (1997-2001), director Jason Reitman ("The Front Runner"), inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), seismologist John Vidale, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), Fox News host Tucker Carlson, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr Elections 2016 Fox News Hillary Clinton