Donald Trump Jr. Wants to Be the Cool Trump
By John Moore/Getty Images.The Trumps are a family of contradictions, a legacy proud of its money and power that nevertheless wants to be seen as accessible to everyone. Perhaps the one Trump who has tried the hardest to distinguish himself from the family’s gold-plated side is Donald Trump Jr., who, despite sharing a name with his father, has been broadcasting a down-home persona that sets him apart from the rest of the family. He likes to hunt; he likes to be outdoors; he prefers the crunch of leaves underfoot to the sound of papers on a desk. At least, that’s what he really, really wants you to think.In a fascinating profile from The New York Times Donald Jr. describes the joys of hunting and being out in nature, a far cry from his mogul father’s business empire or his sister Ivanka’s corporate upbringing and career in the fashion industry. Donald Trump Jr. carries himself in a “rough, straightforward manner that belies his cushy upbringing,” and never missed an opportunity, while making speeches on the campaign trail, to appeal to the kind of people who identify with a guy who wears a plaid shirt and faded jeans for a Times photoshoot.“If I could miracle myself away,” he told the publication, “I would live out West.”He set himself apart from the rest of the Trumps early on, during his youth spent in Prague with his maternal grandfather. A rift developed between him and his father when Donald Trump divorced Czech model Ivana Zelnickova, and Donald Jr., 12 at the time, found a father figure in Milos Zelnicek, who taught him how to hunt. He’s had a passion for the sport ever since.“I think people are often surprised, but I never defined myself as, ‘I’m the business guy who has to supersede what my father has done,’” he said. “He’s a totally unique individual. Somehow having to top his accomplishments is never the way I perceived things.”Where the rest of his family is focused on personal image, world politics, or making speeches to an adoring public, Donald Jr. wants us to know he is the cool guy, the laid-back dude who likes to cook breakfast for his friends in a duck blind.“I’m not a curated kind of guy,” he said. “I don’t sit there and try to massage every possible word. I’m probably a little more like my father in that sense. You know, I say what I’m thinking. Most logical people will interpret it right. But if you are looking to create a story, you can probably come up with something. I learned about that the hard way, in terms of politics.”2014Losing to wind next to his helicopter in Scotland.Photo: By Michael McGurk/Alamy.January 26, 2017Losing to wind at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.Photo: By Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.