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Eric Trump opens up on his "unconventional" childhood with his father

Eric Trump has opened up about his upbringing with his father, former President Donald Trump, talking about how he was made to work on construction sites at a young age to save money and was warned about drinking and taking drugs at age four.

The executive vice president of the Trump Organization reminisced on his childhood in an interview with former news anchor turned Republican candidate Kari Lake.

In the hour-long interview posted online titled “The Kari Lake Show Ep. 3” Eric revealed what some may say is a startling entry point into the world of work and how, at times, he hardly saw his father.

Lake started the discussion by saying that media coverage of the Trump family has been unfair.

She said that “none of the stuff that has been written about the Trump family is true. We know that the witch hunts on your dad have been outrageous.”

The pair then discussed politics and Eric’s role in the Trump Organization.

During the interview, they talked about his upbringing, with Lake asking: “Did you have dinner together every night and talk? Or was he pretty busy working?”

Eric replied: “Yeah, he was unconventional. We probably spent less time out there throwing baseballs around.” However, he spent “a tremendous amount of time in his office.”

He also said that Donald “was amazing” growing up and recited how he would walk into his father’s room every morning and kiss him before school at around the age of four. Donald would say: “‘Eric, no drinking, no drugs, no smoking’ every single day at four years old.”

Eric shared that his father was “strict” and had “high expectations” and made him work “very very hard.”

He said: “I was on construction sites when I was 11, 12 years old doing demo, breaking down walls, concrete, sheet rock, plumbing, stuff I literally still do for myself these days.”

Although he earned only a “minimum wage,” he defended his father, saying that it showed that he cared about “work ethic.” Eric had to work for items he wanted, adding that he had little “free time” growing up as he worked to buy himself a bike, for example.

Eric also divulged that he was the first to support his father when he said he would run for the presidency.

The interview has been a talking point for social media users across the whole political spectrum.

One fan on X, formerly Twitter, said: “You guys need a magazine cover!!!! It’s been too long. Such an amazing family.”

Another said: “Thank You Kari! I Loved this interview.. We only get to see them In 5 min clips in TV Interviews.. I just Loved it! Do Melania and each child…This was great!”

Others were less complimentary and referenced comments about Donald by his ex-wife, Ivana Trump, in previous interviews.

“He wasn’t non-conventional,” one commenter said of Donald. “He was non present. According to Ivana, the ex, TFG didn’t want anything to do with the children until they were old enough to join the family business.”

“TFG” is an abbreviation that stands for “The Former Guy” and is used to refer to the former president as a way to avoid mentioning him by name in online posts. The term is typically used by people who oppose Trump to indicate disrespect for him, prevent additional attention and avoid responses from his supporters.

Another social media user stated: “There’s absolutely no love in the Trump family. If there is, they must hide it because they certainly don’t show any affection in public. It’s only ‘he’s great’ or ‘she’s the best.’ It’s more like interactions between country club members.”

“Unconventional = I mostly knew my father from the front pages of tabloids,” a different commenter said.

“Pretty diplomatic way of saying he was a complete absentee father,” said another.

Newsweek has reached out to the Trump Organization for via email for comment.

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