Former US president Donald Trump turned his attention to parenting tips in his latest phone interview with a right-wing cable network and appeared to make a veiled attack on Joe Biden’s son and his well-documented struggle with drink and drugs.
Speaking to Real America’s Voice anchor Gina Loudon, who was the co-chair of the Women for Trump movement during the 2020 election campaign, Mr Trump said the key to being a good parent was spending time with your children and warning them away from addictive substances.
“I think you have to give them a lot of attention,” he reflected.
“I always also, you can have good children, but if they start with the drugs, alcohol, cigarettes … I’ve said it for years to them. So far it’s had a pretty good impact.”
Mr Trump is a father of five – Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka all played a prominent role in his administration – and has been a teetotaler all his life, having witnessed his brother Fred pass away from alcoholism in 1981, aged just 42.
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“I’ve seen some really good children go wild on drugs and alcohol, and then that’s a different ballgame,” Mr Trump continued in what was seemingly an attack on Hunter Biden, the 51-year-old son of his successor in the White House.
The latter has battled crack cocaine and alcohol addiction throughout his life and was discharged from the US Navy Reserve in 2013 after failing a drugs test.
He has also found himself the subject of several unsubstantiated right-wing conspiracy theories concerning his business dealings in Ukraine, having served on the board of local gas company Burisma between 2014 and 2019, his tenure coinciding with his father, then Barack Obama’s vice president, calling for the removal of the country’s top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, whom he accused of corruption.
Mr Trump’s interest in spurious allegations against the Bidens concerning their involvement in Kiev led to his first impeachment by the House of Representatives in December 2018 after he was recorded pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky into opening an investigation into the matter during an official phone call, implying that US military aid to the country would be withheld unless Mr Zelensky complied.
Mr Trump also used his Real America’s Voice interview to attack Facebook after the social network apparently removed an interview he conducted with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who was hired as a pundit by Fox News this week.
“What is happening in this country, nobody ever thought it would happen,” the former president told Ms Loudon. “It’s total censorship.”
“You make a statement and if they don’t like it – about the election, or medical issues, or about Hunter Biden – they go crazy.
“In the old days, you make a statement, they make a statement, you fight, you pick the winner,” he added, playing to conservative grievances about the supposed left-wing bias of the mainstream media and Silicon Valley.
Mr Trump said Facebook, which deplatformed him along with Twitter after the US Capitol riot on 6 January in which five people were killed, was censoring free speech by dropping Ms Trump’s video, saying its actions were those of “a communist country”.
“You’d – now there is no fight. They take it down,” he complained, before turning his fire on what he appeared to regard as the lacklustre response of his fellow Republicans.
“The right, or the conservatives, they don’t fight the same way. The radical left is meaner and tougher.
He also found time to hit out at Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, saying he had “lost control” of the upper chamber, to revive his bogus election fraud narrative and to argue that taking a coronavirus vaccine was a matter of choice.
“I don’t demand that people take them,” he said. “I’ve taken it but some people don’t want to and that’s also a freedom and I believe in that Gina.”
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