Monday afternoon, the Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe revealed that WikiLeaks sent messages to Donald Trump Jr., who responded to some of them. While not proof of the Trump campaign’s alleged “collusion” with Russia, let alone any actual crime, young Trump’s apparently cordial relationship with a group that leaked hacked Democratic emails is just the latest piece of evidence that is adding up to one inescapable conclusion: Junior is just not very bright.
The oldest of the president’s children at 39 years old, the “Fredo” of the Trump family has a prominent position in life thanks to his family fortune—he currently runs the Trump Organization with his brother Eric, and was heavily involved in his dad’s presidential campaign, which he still brags about on Instagram—but particularly on social media he’s a bumbler and a bully, exactly the kind of person you don’t want to have anywhere near power.
That bumbling was on display last Tuesday as well, when he tweeted out an encouragement to Virginia voters:
The problem being, of course, that the election for Virginia governor, a hotly contested race between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie, was happening the day of his tweet—”today” rather than “tomorrow,” in other words. Lil Donald was using his platform of over 2 million followers to encourage Republicans to miss Election Day. Oh, and Gillespie ended up losing.
There’s nothing wrong with being a bit of a jabroni, and if Junior confined his ambition to being a bro-y real estate scion no one would care about him. But involved as he is in national and even international politics, it’s a little worrying how many blunders he makes. While Junior’s tweets pre-election were mostly of the frat-bro variety (example: “I have some hookups I don’t remember”), he is very bad at taking criticism, and the pressures of his dad’s campaign and presidency seems to have driven him straight into the arms of the internet’s most fawning, conspiratorial, and Trump-obsessed idiots.
He follows Alex Jones of Infowars, former actor and current raging lunatic James Woods, and a slew of alt-right denizens and online foreign troll accounts. He was well-known for retweeting posts by the popular (and now suspended) account @TEN_GOP, which was recently revealed as a Russian troll. His “likes”—catalogued by the Trump universe–tracking account “Trumpsalert”—reveal that he endorses the idea Hillary Clinton should serve the rest of her life in prison. He now follows "Pizzagate" promoter Jack Posobiec, who recently tweeted a photo of the woman who accused Roy Moore of molesting her when she was 14, revealing where she worked.
Junior has also liked some posts about an alt-right smear claiming NAMBLA and Antifa were protesting unhinged weirdo Mike Cernovich for being too anti-pedo (don’t ask), and said that Weird Mike (as he is known online) should win the Pulitzer. This month he brought up the long-debunked conspiracy theory that the Clintons were responsible for the suicide of Vince Foster in 1996. And he was an enthusiastic supporter of the “Hillary has Parkinson’s Disease” variety of nonsense during the campaign.
The list of baffling decisions goes on: When he was contacted by an acquaintance of his and offered damaging information on Clinton that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” he replied, “If it’s what you say, I love it,” then set up a meeting with a Russian lawyer—a series of events that, when later revealed, contradicted a bunch of his previous denials about contacts with Russia. Then, when the New York Times got ahold of those emails, Junior released them on his own. (Just hours before, according to The Atlantic, Wikileaks tried to persuade Junior to send them to them instead.)
He’s more connected than your average Trump fan, but his posts are of the variety that anyone who calls themselves a “deplorable” in their online bio might send into the world. He hates SJWs, and loves triggering the libs. And much like his father, pretty much everything he posts about ends up being a fairly transparent attempt at projection. He loves to talk about Harvey Weinstein, but his attitude toward predatory men seems more motivated by partisanship than anything else, as he may not have the most enlightened attitude toward women himself:
In between hunting trips where he gleefully kills rare and beautiful animals for sport, Donald can be found flouting rules that apply to everyone else—as when Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance decided not to bring fraud charges against him after a timely visit from his dad’s lawyer, a Vance donor.
At the end of the day, Donald Jr. is very much his father’s son. He loves posting (who doesn’t, honestly), and he really loves drama. The problem is that he is both somewhat dumber than his father, and several hundred times more online. While President Trump is regularly worked into a big hot wet mess by the three hosts of FOX and Friends, Donald Jr. is online all day, interacting with thousands of complete nutjobs in good faith. Watching him redpill himself has been hilarious, but then you remember he has access to his dad, the most powerful and impressionable human on the planet, and it’s a lot less funny.
Follow Krang T. Nelson on Twitter.