Brothers Donald John Trump Jr (born December 31, 1977) and Eric Frederick Trump (born January 6, 1984) are the first and the third sons of former US President Donald J Trump and his first wife, Ivana Trump, a former Czech-American model.
The brothers are former reality television personalities and fourth-generation businessmen following their great-grandmother Elizabeth Christ Trump who founded what became the Trump Organization, grandfather Fred Trump, and father Donald John Trump. Currently, both are trustees and executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization.
In 2000, after graduating with a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Donald Trump Jr moved to Aspen, Colorado. There, he lived in a truck and worked as a bartender for a year. He skied, fished, and hunted before returning to New York to join the Trump Organization.
In 2002, Eric Trump graduated from the Hill School, a coeducational preparatory boarding school located on a 200-acre campus in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Later, he graduated with a degree in finance and management from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. According to Eri Trump, in his youth, he accompanied his father to job sites, mowed lawns, laid tile, and did other menial work on his father’s properties. Though Eric briefly considered other careers he decided to join the family business.
There is nothing valorous to boast about these sons of Donald Trump, except that they are adventurous big-game trophy hunters.
Donald Trump Sr told TMZ, a tabloid news website:
“My sons love hunting. They’re hunters and they’ve become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I’m surprised they like it.”
In 2012, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump went on a big-game hunting expedition in Zimbabwe.
Controversy erupted in 2012 when photos of the two Trump brothers posing with the carcasses of dead animals hunted by them in 2010 surfaced. American actress and activist Mia Farrow re-posted them in 2015.
When the photos went viral online, Donald Trump Jr tweeted (and then deleted):
“Not a PR move I didn’t give the pics but I have no shame about them either. I HUNT & EAT game.” (sic)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticized and condemned the Trump brothers for killing buffaloes, elephants, leopards, crocodiles and many exotic wild animals. A spokeswoman for PETA told the Daily News:
“If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father’s footsteps and taking down competing businesses—not wild animals… Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires’ grisly photo opportunity. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.” (sic)
The Zimbabwean animal conservation groups who investigated the hunting expedition deemed it legal. V. Chandenga, the director-general of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, released an official statement defending the Trump brothers and calling any allegations of illegality “false” and “baseless”.
In August 2012, in an interview with Deer & Hunting magazine, Donald Trump Jr explained his views on the big-game hunting expedition:
“I think what made it sort of a bigger story and kind of national and even global news was that I didn’t do what a lot of other people do, which is immediately start apologizing for what I am and that I’m a hunter and all this,” (sic)
Again in April 2012, Donald Trump Jr gave an interview to Forbes magazine. He explained that at the age of 12 he learned to hunt from his Czechoslovakian maternal grandfather, Miloš Zelníček and that his father “really doesn’t understand why Eric and I hunt. However, he is open-minded and so always allowed us to go hunting.” (sic)
He also explained how hunting helps people to become conservationists.
“Anyone who thinks hunters are just ‘bloodthirsty morons’ hasn’t looked into hunting. If you wait through long, cold hours in the November woods with a bow in your hands hoping a buck will show or if you spend days walking in the African bush trailing Cape buffalo while listening to lions roar, you’re sure to learn hunting isn’t about killing. Nature actually humbles you. Hunting forces a person to endure, to master themselves, even to truly get to know the wild environment. Actually, along the way, hunting and fishing make you fall in love with the natural world. This is why hunters so often give back by contributing to conservation.” (sic)
The following photos say a lot about the Trump brothers.
Despite the negative comments, the Trumps stood their ground. Donald Trump Jr responded to a flurry of angry messages that spurned him on Twitter. He Tweeted:
“I’m a hunter, for that, I make no apologies … I can assure you it was not wasteful … The villagers were so happy for the meat which they don’t often get to eat.”
- Donald Trump Jr. (en.wikipedia.org)
- Eric Trump (en.wikipedia.org)
- Elizabeth Christ Trump (en.wikipedia.org)
- Fred Trump (en.wikipedia.org)
- Donald John Trump (en.wikipedia.org)
- The Trump Organization (en.wikipedia.org)
- Photos of Donald Trump’s adult sons hunting in Africa resurface, spark comparisons with Walter Palmer, killer of Cecil the lion (nydailynews.com)
- Donald Trump’s sons under fire for hunting photos, posing with animal carcasses during African safari (nydailynews.com)
- TMZ Is Wrong About Donald Trump Jr. and Safari Hunting (forbes.com)
- Trump sons’ Zimbabwe hunt legal (huntinglegends.co.za)
- Trump trophy hunt photos lead to Zimbabwe investigation (pri.org)
- Donald Trump Jr. Went to Mongolia, Got Special Treatment From the Government and Killed an Endangered Sheep (propublica.org)
- Trump defends his big-game hunting sons as they are shamed on Twitter for posing with their trophy kills – including a leopard and an elephant – after death of Cecil the lion (dailymail.co.uk)
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (en.wikipedia.org)