President Donald Trump’s eldest son told ABC News in an interview broadcast Tuesday that there are fewer trustworthy people within the White House than he “would like it to be.”
“I think there are people in there that he can trust, it’s just — it’s a much smaller group than I would like it to be,” Donald Trump Jr. said in an interview aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“It would be easier to get things done if you’re able to fully trust everyone around you,” he continued. “I think that’s a shame.”
Trump Jr. was responding to a New York Times op-ed authored by an anonymous senior White House official, who said top White House staff was in many cases acting against the wishes of the president to protect the national interest.
The op-ed was published as excerpts were released from journalist Bob Woodward’s explosive new book,”Fear: Trump in the White House.” The book chronicled similar sentiment from top officials, such as former White House staff secretary Rob Porter and former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, who the book said removed documents from the president’s desk so he would not sign them.
Trump Jr. said it’s his belief that the op-ed was authored by a “low-level person,” and he echoed his father’s call for the Department of Justice to investigate who wrote the piece. The president has railed against both the op-ed and the Woodward book over the past week, asking whether the author of the New York Times piece committed treason and suggesting the book was a work of fiction.
“This is very low-level person who will throw their name on an op-ed, and basically subvert the vote of the American people who elected my father to do this job,” Trump Jr. said, calling the op-ed “pretty disgusting” and “sad.”
“Listen, I think you’re subverting the will of the people,” he continued. “I mean, to try to control the presidency while not the president. You have millions and millions of Americans who voted for this.”
On the Woodward book, Trump Jr. pointed to denials from top administration officials on passages attributed to them in the book. Woodward conducted hundreds of interviews on what is known as “deep background,” in which the information can be used but not attributed to a source. Woodward, of Watergate fame, has said that these individuals have lied about their contributions to the book in public for political purposes.
“People who are well respected in this administration have come out and denied it,” Trump Jr. said. “If Gen. [James] Mattis had an issue with my father, he would say it to his face.”