Democracy Dies in Darkness

Politics

Donald Trump Jr. says his father can’t trust everyone around him after the anonymous op-ed

September 11, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Donald Trump Jr. walks off Air Force One in Great Falls, Mont., in July, as he accompanies his father, President Trump, to a political rally. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged in an interview broadcast Tuesday that his father can trust fewer people around him than he would like in the wake of an anonymous op-ed claiming there is a “resistance” within the Trump administration.

“I think there are people in there that he can trust, it’s just — it’s a much smaller group than I would like it to be,” the president’s eldest son said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Asked whom he trusts, Trump Jr. declined to answer but suggested that family members working in the White House remain in the fold. President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are both White House advisers.

“I’m talking outside family. That goes without saying,” Trump Jr. said.

Related: [Trump officials rush to assure the president they didn’t pen op-ed criticizing him]

Watch more!
Senior officials in the Trump administration have been working from within to frustrate parts of the president's agenda to protect the country from his worst inclinations, an anonymous Trump official wrote in a column published by the New York Times on Sept. 5. (Reuters)

“It would be easier to get things done if you’re able to fully trust everyone around you,” he added. “I think that’s a shame.”

The op-ed, published by the New York Times last week, was written by a senior official in the Trump administration, according to the Times. It depicts a “two-track presidency” in which Trump acts according to his own whims while many of his top aides, in the author’s words, work to thwart his “more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”

The piece’s publication has coincided with revelations from a new book by veteran journalist Bob Woodward that depicts a chaotic White House in which some aides have even removed papers from Trump’s desk to prevent him from taking what they believe to be unwarranted actions.

During the ABC interview, Trump Jr. said he believes the op-ed was written by a “low-level person,” and he urged the Justice Department to investigate the author, as his father has suggested.

“This is very low-level person who will throw their name on an op-ed, and basically subvert the vote of the American people who elected my father to do this job,” Trump Jr. said.

Asked whether he thinks any laws were broken, Trump Jr. said: “Listen, I think you’re subverting the will of the people. I mean, to try to control the presidency while not the president. You have millions and millions of Americans who voted for this.”

During the interview, Trump Jr. also said he is not worried about legal exposure resulting from the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“I’m not, because I know what I did, and I’m not worried about it,” Trump Jr. said.

Among his actions under scrutiny is a 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Trump Jr. helped organize with a Kremlin-aligned lawyer. Trump Jr. had been told that she would provide damaging information on Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. said it’s possible prosecutors could “try to create something” incriminating.

“I mean, we’ve seen that happen with everything,” he said. “I understand that they are trying to get my father, and they’ll do anything they can to get that.”


John Wagner is a national reporter who leads The Post's new breaking political news team. He previously covered the Trump White House. During the 2016 presidential election, he focused on the Democratic campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. He also chronicled Maryland government for more than a decade.

Post Recommends
Outbrain

We're glad you're enjoying The Washington Post.

Get access to this story, and every story, on the web and in our apps with our Basic Digital subscription.

Welcome to The Washington Post

Thank you for subscribing
Keep reading for $10 $1
Show me more offers