Eric Trump defended the longstanding practice of his father, President Donald Trump, of giving top jobs to his children, telling The Telegraph in an interview Monday that nepotism is “a beautiful thing.”
“You trust the people who are closest to you,” said Trump’s second eldest son. “Who is [the president] going to trust most to run a company? He is going to trust somebody who he trusts implicitly.”
“Is that nepotism? Absolutely. Is that also a beautiful thing? Absolutely,” Trump said. “Family business is a beautiful thing.”
He said the same principle applies to his sister, Ivanka Trump, who was last month given a job by her father in the West Wing of the White House, where she works alongside her husband, Jared Kushner, who was also given a top job as a senior adviser to the president.
“Ivanka is by his side in Washington,” Eric Trump said, adding that, as a family member, his sister is in the unique position of being able to tell the president when he’s wrong.
“I think [having a child on staff] gives you a sounding board who is a little bit more unconventional than the 37 people that might happen to be standing round a table at that one time, who just want to appease” the president, Trump said.
Government ethics watchdogs and experts do not share this positive view of nepotism, however. On the contrary, they point to a longstanding federal anti-nepotism law which prohibits public officials, including the president from hiring immediate family members. The Trump administration argues that this law doesn’t apply to senior members of the president’s staff.
The interview, published late Monday, marks the second time in a week that Eric Trump has publicly defended his father’s practice of hiring his children.
“Nepotism is kind of a factor of life,” he told Forbes in an interview earlier this month. “We might be here because of nepotism, but we’re not still here because of nepotism. You know, if we didn’t do a good job, if we weren’t competent, believe me, we wouldn’t be in this spot.”