Eric Trump doesn’t see what the big deal is about his father on Thursday evening publicly applauding Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte for “body-slamming” a reporter.
When the hosts of Fox News’ Outnumbered asked him for his response to the incident on Friday, the second first son replied, “Oh, stop, he wasn’t the guy who body-slammed anybody, he can have fun.”
“Any guy who can do a body slam,” Trump said at his Montana, physically imitating the wrestling move for which Gianforte received a misdemeanor assault charge last year, “he’s my kind of guy.” When he first heard about the attack on The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, Trump said he thought, “Oh, this is terrible, he’s going to lose the election.” But then he realized, “Wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well. I think it might help him. And it did.”
“By the way, this is exactly why my father won,” Eric Trump added. “Because so many people so sick of the perfectly scripted politician who memorized their little soundbites and they weren’t any fun and they had no charisma, they had no personality. Hey, to go out as a guy who’s a little bit—who is un-P.C. and probably won because he’s un-P.C.— “Anybody who body-slams somebody is my kind of guy” and joke about it and the whole crowd is laughing, like stop.”
Trump’s comments come not only amidst his administration’s lack of action in response to the apparent murder to Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government, but also during a larger conversation about civility in politics driven by the president and his allies.
Just yesterday, Eric Trump was criticizing former Attorney General Eric Holder over his controversial “When they go low, we kick them” comments.
“You know the lack of civility is always something that bothered me," Eric Trump said on Fox & Friends Thursday morning. “I mean you look at Eric Holder a couple days ago: ‘When they're down, we kick them in the head.’ Who says this? I mean who does that?”
Fox’s Melissa Francis actually confronted him over these “hypocritical” statements, but Eric Trump didn’t even blink.
“Eric Holder wasn’t laughing when he was saying that and kind of joking around, his demeanor was very different,” he said. “I think it actually is different. I think it’s totally different. I think the way you actually convey your message resonates.”
And yet while President Trump was talking about a very real “body slam” from Gianforte that resulted in an actual assault charge, Holder has made it abundantly clear that he was speaking metaphorically.
“Ok, stop the fake outrage. I’m obviously not advocating violence,” he tweeted. “I’m saying Republicans are undermining our democracy and Democrats need to be tough, proud and stand up for the values we believe in—the end.”
Eric Trump didn’t seem to be laughing when he told Sean Hannity a year ago that Democrats are “not even people,” so we’ll have to assume he meant what he said.