Eric Trump: “Nepotism Is Kind Of A Factor Of Life”

Eric Trump may be a bit off script this week.  There are legitimate objections to President Donald Trump making his own daughter and son-in-law official advisors in the White House as the definition of nepotism.  I have long been critical of nepotism and, in my view, such hiring should be barred under federal law.  However, it is currently legal.  That does not make it acceptable for many so the comments of Eric Trump raised eyebrows when he said in a Forbes interview that “nepotism is kind of a factor [sic] of life.”

Eric insisted that, while he owes his job to nepotism, he has kept his job due to talent: “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.”

Critics are likely to relish this as a SNL moment for Eric.  At the same time, Ivanka’s “I’m complicit” comment has also gotten a lot of play though her point was not a incriminating as has been suggested.

I hardly view Trump’s use of his family to be problematic and that seems his main point. It is a family business.  Trump himself was helped by his Dad in the same real estate field.  The selection of family members as high ranking advisers is problematic (just as the hiring of Robert Kennedy by his brother was problematic).  It may be a fact of life but it is not a good fact of life.  (For the record, I tend to be a stickler on the issue and even object to First Ladies having official roles like Hillary Clinton’s heading of a health care task force).

What do you think?

80 thoughts on “Eric Trump: “Nepotism Is Kind Of A Factor Of Life””

  1. I was going to side with the Trumpster offspring until I saw the photo of him proudly having killed that animal. Is it a Rhino? Animals need rifles. They bad guy shot Johnboy Kennedy and then another bad boy shot Bobby. People who shoot people or animals are bad. Animals need to shoot back. I would not shoot anyone myself.

    1. Jack, if you don’t know the difference between a rhino and a water buffalo, you definitely should not go hunting. And I mean that in a loving, gentle way.

  2. I think that Trump naturally wants to keep his trusted inner circle of advisors whom he’s used for years in his business, and that will include family. I believe he gave them official titles to grant them access to the information he wants to discuss.

    However, nepotism and pay to play is a rampant problem in politics whereby breathtakingly unqualified people gain positions of importance and authority. This not only manifests in nepotism, but also in the gifting of plum jobs to big donors and cronies who have no business there.

    I have a problem with family, friends, and donors gaining jobs for which they are not naualified. I acknowledge that in the trench warfare of politics today, trust is a golden currency. Prominent politicians want to surround themselves with those they trust, who won’t leak, and who have proven themselves. But those people need to be eminently qualified for their position, and there will be some jobs which require impartiality for which friends and family should be excluded altogether.

    Running our government is a great responsibility, and high level positions should not be a reward or payment, but go to those who will serve us best.

  3. Nepotism does have it’s down sides and for each of them, the biggest issue is a sort of slippery slope tendency.

    Number one is merit. One often sacrifices some merit for the convenience of trust or compatibility such as one might find in a family member. For the odd case, this is rarely an issue, but as such choices add up, it can easily run the slippery slope of becoming almost policy at which point qualifications for the job in question tend to take a complete back seat to convenience and trust, and then ultimately simply to habit.

    Number two is reliability, which seems odd, but it is a fact that family members or friends often short circuit the guards we tend to use to evaluate such qualities in an individual over time.

    Number three is performance under pressure. Quite often, those who have made it to the top, particularly in political administrations, have done so through a process of trial by fire. When they arrive, there is a certain environment of safety built up around them which they have in a sense, “earned”, but also which they have proven to be capable of handling.

    In such an environment where nepotism has become almost policy at the top, lack of such experience can again slip under the radar even if the individual manages to remain in the job for quite some time and can subsequently backfire with potentially terrible results.

    The list goes on, but the point is really the usual one of all things in moderation except, in this case, moderation.

    1. Almost forgot, but I think it is mentioned elsewhere in this thread, resentment. Even with only a few choices clearly made by nepotism, the problem of resentment by others in similar level positions can become quite significant. This can be particularly problematic in a high level political context and I suspect this really does apply to President Trump, no matter how qualified the individuals in question.

  4. It’s not very often that a rich kid is honest about life. Kudos to Eric Trump. There are a lot of people out there who were born on third and think they hit a triple.

    1. Being born rich is fortunate. Having parents encouraging helping others is even more fortunate. Eric’s work for St Jude has to stop while his father is President, which is beyond stupid. President Trump is smart to have his children close. He can trust them. They have a different perspective to share. President Trump is putting in long hours working to accomplish as much as possible. I appreciate that. I appreciate the time his family gives to our country. I wish the naysers and media would back off and let the man do what he was elected to do. My understanding is the sons don’t hunt anymore.

  5. What do people think? OK, you asked. The issue is way larger than just nepotism. The Rump is narcissistic, paranoid and delusional. He doesn’t trust anyone, so he brings the products of his loins on board because they depend on him financially and because his god is money, which has purchased him the right to sexually assault women among other perks, so therefore, he believes in the purchase power of the almighty dollar. He purchases the loyalty of his pathetic offspring because he doesn’t trust other people. Truth be told, he probably doesn’t really trust them, either. The Rump is not highly talented, he is nowhere near the smart negotiator he thinks he is, and neither are his offspring. They are all as shallow as possible, with the females having the obligatory bleached hair, tripping around in crippling high heels and exposing as much skin as possible while flashing expensive jewelry. You know, the Fox News standard for females. They bristle at the suggestion that they are emulating a Barbie doll, and claim to be women of substance–after all, wasn’t Barbie a doctor, a veterinarian, etc, all while keeping up her roots and waxing? The sons aren’t bright, either and Rump, Jr. is downright arrogant. They proudly pose with the carcasses of exotic animals they’ve killed. What does that tell you about them? Does anyone really think The Rump isn’t really still running things?

    A truly smart person acknowledges his limitations, because no one knows or can do everything, so he surrounds himself with people who do know more than he does about critical things and who are able to facilitate getting things done. Obama even had Republicans in his circle. The Rump, being narcissistic and not truly connected to anyone, including his Slovenian POA, is afraid that people who know more than he does will expose his shortcomings to those who haven’t figured him out yet, so he circles the wagons and appoints his kids and son in law, the real estate heir, because they’ll never rat him out as being clueless. After all, doesn’t inheriting a real estate empire qualify Jared to meet with world leaders on sensitive diplomatic matters? The Rump is a 70-year-old rookie who is in over his head. Let’s all just pray that the toddler running Korea and the toddler running this country don’t start an all-out war. No, the issue isn’t just narcissism, it is paranoia and fear of being exposed as a failure, resulting in appointing if financially-dependent relatives to “advise” him, instead of engaging people qualified to assist in running this country. Neutral advisors might actually tell him that tweeting in the middle of the night isn’t a good idea. Neutral advisors might actually tell him that attempting to blame President Obama for the gassing in Syria this week makes him look stupid in view of the multiple tweets back in 2013 about Syria not being the US’s problem and that the US should stay out and not get involved. Also, he “overlooked” the fact that President Obama asked Congress, then also having a Republican majority, for authority to go into Syria, and none of them wanted that blood on their hands. The Rump doesn’t want to hear such things. This is not run-of-the mill nepotism at all.

    1. They must be paying you pretty good, Natasha. Great gig you got there. Do they provide the whole script, or do you have creative license to embellish?

  6. Correction
    This goes beyond ethics and legality, it’s also about effective government.

  7. Nepotism is one way to promote group think. Not good if we want the best wisdom around the president. This has goes beyond ethics and legality, but with effective government.

    1. There are two people present out of the scores who are the president’s formal direct reports. Somehow I suspect the groupthink inherent in having Jared and Ivanka knocking about is modest.

  8. Donald, don’t piss off god.

    What is the difference between the evil Jeroboam did and the “evil” God brought upon him?

    In the King James Version Bible, 1 Kings 14:10 It says God shall bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam.

    1 Kings 14:10
    KJV – Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

  9. Eric was just quoting from dad’s perspective. The president is on-record (in an interview) as supporting . nepotism. But there may be another interview where he opposes it. His actions clearly support it. No reason for Eric to contradict his father. Besides, in this case, daddy is undoubtedly still pulling the strings.

  10. FishWings,

    You always support Obama and Clinton. Those are people who hunted and killed many innocent people. I find that action repulsive. I think Eric’s trophy hunting is also disgusting. That’s exactly my point that at least at the top, you don’t need to worry about nepotism so much as you need to worry about severe psychopaths being in charge!

    1. The god emperor is well on his way to pass them. He could be starting a nuclear war with Korea in the not too distant future plus he has increased bombing in the mideast.

      1. anon,

        You’re correct! Trump is killing even more people via drone than Obama Jesus.

        Again, you don’t criticize leader’s murdering per se, you criticize Trump’s murders. You would have credibility if you thought ALL this murdering was wrong, not just Trump’s. As it is, you only care about other people being murdered on a partisan basis. That’s not a convincing or ethical basis for your “concern”. People are just as dead under Democrats. Either citizens care about having murderers in office period, or we don’t.

        1. I consider the commander in chief at the current time to be responsible for what is currently going on. Clinton has not been Secretary of State for 5 years and Obama is now longer commander in chief. Who are you to judge that an anonymous person who is anti-death penalty and anti war is not ethical. You continue to attack every poster that might have democratic leanings but give those that post hateful bigoted things a pass.

          1. anon,

            Do you think it was wrong when Obama ordered innocents killed by drone strikes? It’s a simply question. Can you answer it?

            I’m saying something different than what you are presenting. You cannot maintain any credibility in criticizing Trump if you cheered Obama and Clinton along for their murder and war crimes. If you can condemn their killing then you will be able to offer a true ethical argument. Right now, it’s just saying, well my killer of choice isn’t murdering people!

            1. Of course it was wrong but this is starting to remind me of when people blamed Bush for Obama’s actions.

            2. Bullying someone to say what you want them to say does not work so well in the real world in my experience.:)

              1. Asking questions and challenging someone’s views isn’t bullying. If one can’t take the heat, it’s time to get out of the kitchen.

                1. When assumptions are made by an unknown person about how another thinks or feels is certainly something other than merely challenging in my opinion.

                  1. They’re not assumptions when they’re based on what you have (and have not) posted here.

                2. I think you are right. I should get out but not because the discussions are so challenging but rather because they are tedious and boring. Have a nice day. 🙂

                  1. What you all are doing is pretty much like Corporate media’s favoring he said/she said banter between people that are famous for being famous — cheaper and less threatening to the status quo aka divide and conquer.

        2. Again, you don’t criticize leader’s murdering per se, you criticize Trump’s murders.

          He might also criticize the knucklehead use of the term ‘murder’.

    2. Those are people who hunted and killed many innocent people.

      Huh? What’s that even supposed to mean? Seriously?

  11. Oh, I think any dim-wit can pay somebody to find wild and great animals just so they can shoot and kill them, just so their PR people can take a picture. And make daddy proud.

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