Trump biographer explains Don Jr texts to Meadows during Capitol riot: ‘He’s the deviant member of Trump clan’

Don Jr appears to criticise father in texts with former president likely ‘furious’ at their release, says author

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 31 December 2021 12:46
Donald Trump Jr is 'deviant member of the Trump clan'

A Trump biographer believes Donald Trump Jr was trying to assert himself when he texted Mark Meadows on 6 January and raising alarm on his father needing to act to put an end to the Capitol riot.

Michael D’Antonio was asked his opinion of a text exchange between the pair during an appearance on CNN on Tuesday.

“He’s got to condemn this s*** ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough," the eldest Trump son texted his father’s chief of staff.

“I’m pushing it hard. I agree,” Mr Meadows replied.

“We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand,” replied Mr Trump.

Asked by anchor Anna Cabrera what he thought about the exchange, the author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, said he found it surprising that the then-President’s son didn’t address his father directly.

“Well, first of all, it is surprising that he didn’t address the president directly to his cell phone. There could be a sign of something wrong there, but Donald Jr has always been – although it doesn’t look that way – the deviant member of the Trump clan,” Mr D’Antonio said.

“And by that I mean he’s been willing to stand up to his father in ways that other people have not, so when you see especially that phrase he has to lead now, that indicates that he’s saying his father has not been leading and that he’s aware of it, and then when he says that this has gotten out of hand, he indicates that he knows where the limits are in civil society but his father does not.”

Ms Cabrera pointed out that they did not know whether the president’s son had also been trying to reach his father directly and asked whether that too might have been as ineffective.

“I would hope so, but, you know, it could well be that Donald Jr has never had the direct line to the president in the White House, that he would have had when they were in business together,” Mr D’Antonio replied.

Asked how he though former President Trump would react to the texts being made public, the biographer said he thought that Mr Trump would be “absolutely furious”.

Mr D’Antonio added that he admires Don Jr for what he did and that it might be a sign that he is staking a claim to being an individual on his own and is perhaps “maturing”.

Ms Cabrera noted that in the past Don Jr has been one of the strongest proponents of Trumpism and its extremist rhetoric.

“He may be a great troll, Donald Jr, but it might be possible that he sees where the red lines exist and his father doesn’t see them,” said Mr D’Antonio.

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