The Trump Files: Why Donald Called His 4-Year-Old Son a “Loser”

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If you’re hosting a TV show that claims to be a “roadmap to the American Dream,” who better to turn to for tips on success than the Trump family? So in 2006, CNBC’s Donny Deutsch brought Donald Trump, Jr. onto his show, The Big Idea, to get the “next-generation billionaire secrets” on how to make it big. Trump Jr.’s lesson, passed down from his dad at an early age, was simple: paranoia.

Seven o’clock in the morning, I’m going to school—hugs, kisses, and he used to say a couple things. ‘No smoking, no drinking, no drugs.’ I think a great lesson for any kid. But then he followed up with: ‘Don’t. Trust. Anyone. Ever.’ And, you know, he’d follow it up two seconds later with, ‘So, do you trust me?’ I’d say, ‘Of course, you’re my dad.’ He’d say, ‘What did I just—’ You know, he thought I was a total failure. He goes, ‘My son’s a loser, I guess.’ Because I couldn’t even understand what he meant at the time. I mean, it’s not something you tell a four-year-old, right? But it really means something to him.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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