The eldest Trump sons are well aware of the minefield that comes with running a global business while their father is in the White House. "I was the first person to raise my hand and say you should not do certain deals, as I understood the optics, as you can't build the tallest building in Tel Aviv and try to negotiate peace in the Middle East," Eric Trump told The New York Times.
But as President Trump hasn't sold any of his assets — choosing instead to sign over operations to his sons and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg — that means things could get tricky for the tight-knit Trump clan.
Donald Trump Jr. told the Times that he has only called his father once since the inauguration, and Eric said he only talks to the president "a few" times a week. "In the next four years, do I ever expect him to say: 'Hey, how's Turnberry? How's the new green? How's the new 10th tee?" Eric asked. He said he would answer with something like, "Dad, it's great," or "The property looks awesome."
But even interactions the brothers deem insignificant can draw scrutiny from critics. When Don Jr. and Eric were present for President Trump's announcement of his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Talking Points Memo blasted them: "Trump sons take break from running family biz to schmooze at White House."
But "who in their right mind would try to enrich themselves by spending a fortune to run against 17 seasoned politicians on the Republican side, to then go up against the Clinton machine, Wall Street, Hollywood, P.C. culture?" Don Jr. asked the Times in an attempt to dismiss fears of conflicts of interest. "To use that as the way to enrich yourself is laughable."