In a recent phone interview with a right-wing cable network, former US President Donald Trump discussed parenting advice and seemed to make a subtle assault on Joe Biden’s son and his well-documented battle with alcohol and drugs.
Mr Trump told Real America’s Voice anchor Gina Loudon, who was the co-chair of the Women for Trump movement during the 2020 election campaign, that spending time with your children and warning them away from addictive drugs was the secret to being a successful parent.
He reflected, “I guess you have to pay a lot of attention to them.”
“I always say, you may have good children, but if they start doing drugs, drinking, smoking…
I’ve been asking them for years. So far, it’s had a positive effect.”
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Mr Trump is the father of five children – Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka all served in his administration – and has been a teetotaler his whole life, having seen his brother Fred die of alcoholism at the age of 42 in 1981.
“I’ve seen some pretty healthy children go crazy on drugs and alcohol, and that’s a different ballgame,” Mr Trump said, seemingly referring to Hunter Biden, his replacement in the White House, who is 51 years old.
'You have to give [kids] attention, you have to talk to them, you have to be with them…I say no drugs, no cigarettes, no alcohol…it really so far has had a pretty good impact."
— Real America's Voice (RAV) (@RealAmVoice) April 2, 2021
The latter has struggled with crack cocaine and alcohol abuse his whole life, and was discharged from the US Navy Reserve in 2013 after failing a drug test.
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He’s also been the focus of many unsubstantiated right-wing conspiracy theories about his business dealings in Ukraine, where he worked on the board of Burisma, a local gas firm, from 2014 to 2019, his tenure coinciding with his father, then-Vice President Barack Obama, calling for the impeachment of the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, whom he accused of corruption.
Mr Trump’s obsession with false accusations about the Bidens’ presence in Kiev resulted in his first impeachment by the House of Representatives in December 2018, after he was caught on tape urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into the matter.
Mr Trump also used his Real America’s Voice interview to criticize Facebook for removing an interview he conducted with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who was hired as a Fox News pundit this week.
“No one could have predicted what is happening in this country,” the former president told Ms Loudon. “It’s full censorship.”
“You make a point, and if they don’t like it – whether it’s about the presidency, health care, or Hunter Biden – they go nuts.
“In the old days, you made a comment, they made a statement, you fought, you picked the winner,” he said, addressing conservative complaints about the news media’s alleged left-wing bias.
"I don’t demand that people take [vaccines]. I’ve taken it… but some people don’t want to… and that’s also a freedom and I believe in that Gina." pic.twitter.com/S7IpRPDmX6
— Real America's Voice (RAV) (@RealAmVoice) April 1, 2021