The eldest son of former US President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., has taken on an unofficial role as his close adviser on political issues following his father’s departure from the White House, CNN reported, citing sources close to the situation.
The relations between the two have become more “affable” than Trump has ever had with his daughter Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner, who served as a senior adviser during Trump’s presidential term.
"I don't think the President is looking to Jared for advice these days," a person close to Trump was quoted as saying by the media. According to three people "familiar with Trump's thinking", the former president largely blames Kushner for his defeat in the 2020 election.
While Kushner has decided to take a break from politics, reportedly concentrating on a book about his time in Washington and his efforts to broker peace in the Middle East, Trump’s eldest son has dived into post-White House political operation, giving the former president advice on political issues he could weigh-in on, after promoting his father across the country at campaign rallies in 2016 and 2020.
Donald Trump Jr. has also been involved in the vetting process for Republican hopefuls seeking his father’s endorsement, urging Trump to avoid premature endorsements of Republican candidates in Senate primaries, people close to the former president said.
Sources said it was Trump Jr. who told his father to "slow things down" and let the primary contest play out when former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken sought Trump’s endorsement in March.
"He recognises candidates who are authentically invested in the America First agenda and can spot those who are faking it. While it's true that all roads lead to Mar-a-Lago, smart candidates know there's a pit stop with Don that ensures a higher degree of success," former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
The former president now relies on his close political allies and friends’ advice, with one person saying he sometimes calls 15 people in a single day to find out what are their thoughts on potential endorsements and on potential 2024 presidential election hopefuls that could become his rivals if he decides to run.
Donald Trump has toyed with the idea of running for another presidential term, teasing his supporters at the CPAC in Orlando in late February that he may "beat them (the Democrats) a third time".
The former US President has repeatedly rejected Democratic candidate Joe Biden's win in the 3 November 2020 presidential election, which Trump claimed was the most corrupt vote in American history.
After the 6 January "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington in his support morphed into a riot, with dozens breaking into the Capitol building, that left 5 people dead, Trump was accused of "inciting an insurrection" and impeached by the US House of Representatives. He was later acquitted by the US Senate. The 45th US president, who called on supporters to oppose Joe Biden's nomination "peacefully" during the rally, denied any responsibility for the protests, saying that what he said was "totally appropriate".