AP NEWS

Donald Trump Jr. explains TruNews interview amid uproar

March 30, 2019

Donald Trump Jr. distanced himself Friday from TruNews, a controversial media outlet that recently interviewed the president’s eldest son in-between peddling radical right-wing conspiracy theories.

Mr. Trump, 41, spoke to TruNews correspondent Kerry Kinsey for roughly five minutes during a segment conducted Thursday evening at his father’s campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The vice president of his family’s namesake business, the Trump Organization, the first son quickly made waves on account of the outlet’s less-than-stellar reputation.

Led by Rick Wiles, a Florida-based conservative fundamentalist Christian radio host, TruNews is dedicated to “reporting the countdown to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” according to its website. Mr. Wiles once referred to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as a “lizard” and a “satanist,” and a recent broadcast of his program questioned whether the current hate crime scandal surrounding “Empire” actor Jussie Smollet can be traced back to “Shadow President Barack Hussein Obama,” whom he previously called the head of a “modern day Nazi regime.”

“The Nazi takeover of Germany was a militant homosexual fascist takeover; that is what is taking place in America today,” Mr. Wiles said in 2017, according to Right Wing Watch, a website that monitors his broadcasts.

“Don’t rule out the possibility that these mass shootings are organized and carried out by a death squad and then some sap gets shot and we’re told that he was the perpetrator, he was the one who did it,” he said in 2018, according to the website.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the president’s son said that the interview was not arranged in advance, and that it was initiated while he was waiting to conduct a separate segment.

“This was not a pre-planned interview and Don had never heard of TruNews or had any awareness of their views until this very moment,” said the statement.

“Don was scheduled for an interview with Hannity on Fox News and while he was waiting in the press area for that interview to begin, various reporters nearby began asking him questions and so he ended up doing interviews with several outlets who were in the vicinity,” said the spokesperson.

“Unfortunately, he did not have an opportunity to run a full FBI background check on each and every one.”