Eric Trump on Sunday danced around questions from ABC News’ Jon Karl about an explosive New York Times report that hundreds of entities patronized Trump properties and scored federal contracts and favors from President Donald Trump and his administration.
In its investigation published Saturday, the Times found that more than 200 companies, special interest groups and foreign governments were “reaping benefits” while spending money at various Trump hotels, golf clubs and other businesses.
9 PHOTOSFirst Family: Getting to know Eric TrumpSee GalleryFirst Family: Getting to know Eric Trump
Eric Trump is President-elect Donald Trump’s third child with his first wife Ivana Trump.
Caption: Ivana Trump, Eric Trump, her former husband Donald Trump and her daughter Ivanka Trump in 1998. (Getty)
Eric attended The Hill School, a strict boarding school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
Caption: Ivana Trump and Eric Trump in 1996. (Getty)
Eric attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He is the only one of the adult Trump siblings that did not attend their father’s alma mater University of Pennsylvania.
Caption: Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump (Reuters)
Eric is a reality tv star just like his father. He has made appearances alongside the president-elect on The Apprentice as a boardroom judge from 2010-2015.
Caption: Donald Trump (C) and his sons Eric F. Trump (L) and Donald Trump Jr. (R) attend the ‘Celebrity Apprentice All Stars’ Season 13 Press Conference in 2012. (Getty)
Eric Trump married his wife Laura in 2014. She is a producer for CBS’ Inside Edition.
Instagram caption: "Amazing that our anniversary is also Election Day! Happy anniversary @laraleatrump 🇺🇸🇺🇸"
Eric founded the Eric Trump Foundation when he was 23-years-old. The charity aims at raising money for children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The organization’s website says they have "donated and pledged nearly $30 million dollars to St. Jude."
Instagram caption: "So proud of our @erictrumpfdn Road Scholar truck! It’s dedicated to the children of @stjude"
Eric runs the Trump Organization’s golf courses. Since joining the organization in 2013, Eric increased the number of international golf courses from three to 17.
Instagram caption: "Beautiful day to play at Trump National Jupiter @larayunaska"
While speaking on the campaign trail in October, Eric Trump mistakenly introduced then-vice presidential candidate Mike Pence as the Governor of Illinois. Pence is the governor of Indiana. The 32-year-old chalked it up to a slip of the tongue.
Caption: Vice President-elect, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (C) is greeted by Eric Trump (R), son of President-elect Donald Trump. (Getty)
Eric made headlines on Election day after he tweeted a photo of his ballot while voting for his dad. The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before garnering over 3,000 retweets and over 8,000 likes.
It is illegal in New York to share a photo of your election ballot.
“Lots of specifics in this story,” Karl told Eric Trump, the second eldest of Trump’s three sons. “You guys didn’t respond to The New York Times. Here’s your chance. What’s your response?”
Eric Trump didn’t deny any of the specific allegations laid out in the the Times report, which was based in part on President Trump’s tax records and the membership records of at least two of his properties. Instead, Eric Trump, an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said that his family has been hemorrhaging money in recent years.
“My response is, we’ve lost a fortune,” Eric Trump told Karl. “My father’s lost a fortune running for president. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. He wanted to do what was right. The last thing, I can tell you, Donald Trump needs in the world is this job.”
President Trump “wakes up in the morning, and he has to fight you, and he has to fight the entire media, and he has to fight the Democrats,” he added. “He doesn’t need to shop. My father has lost a fortune ― an absolute fortune ― doing what he does.”
Karl interrupted Eric Trump to push him for an answer to the question, but the president’s son pivoted instead to an attack on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“Eric, but will you address what The New York Times revealed in their investigation?” Karl said. “All these companies and individuals who have spent money ― lots of money ― at Trump properties that have gone on to get big government contracts and other favors from the Trump administration. How is that not, at the very least, a huge appearance of a conflict of interest?”
Eric Trump, again, refused to go into the specifics.
“We’re a hospitality company,” he said. “We have tens of millions of people staying at our properties every single year. The New York Times is absolute fake news. All they wanna do is take down my father.”
He then falsely accused “the media” of being “the activist arm of the Democratic Party.”
“Eric, we’re asking legitimate questions,” Karl said in response.
The Times’ story about the alleged pay-to-play scheme was the latest in a series of investigative reports into Trump’s tax records. Trump has refused to make public his tax returns, citing an ongoing Internal Revenue Service audit of his finances.
The Times, which obtained decades of Trump’s tax documents, found President Trump paid no federal income tax in 11 of the 18 years examined by the newspaper. He paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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