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).