Eric Trump inadvertently caused mass confusion this week by seeming to declare on Fox News that he is part of the LGBTQ community.
The president’s second-oldest son, who is married to Lara Trump and has two children, appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday to discuss an op-ed in the New York Times about a lesbian woman who plans to vote for Trump.
Asked whether Donald Trump’s reelection campaign was counting on voters like the anonymous lesbian in the op-ed, Trump offered a baffling response.
“The LGBT community, they are incredible,” he said. “And you should see how they come out in full force for my father every single day. I’m part of that community, and we love the man, and thank you for protecting our neighborhoods and thank you for protecting our cities.”
Trump’s comments quickly went viral after Bobby Lewis, a researcher and author at Media Matters, shared them on Twitter.
“Eric Trump coming out is not the birthday gift this homosexual wanted,” Lewis wrote.
eric trump coming out is not the birthday gift this homosexual wanted
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 29, 2020
Reactions to Trump’s comments were both plentiful and hilarious.
Actor George Takei tweeted: “Eric Trump saying he’s ‘part of the LGBT’ community is like me saying I’m part of the fantasy football community. I might think I know what a ‘tight end’ and a ‘wide receiver’ are, but I would be sorely mistaken.”
Takei added: “Well at least now Eric Trump can claim his father doesn’t hate him because he’s dumb, he hates him because he’s part of the LGBT community. (Yes, he really claimed that this morning on Fox.)”
Twitter user Jenny Burns noted that Trump “probably should have told his wife before announcing it on fox.”
User Mrs. Krassenstein offered two explanations for Trump’s comments: “Eric Trump either: a) just came out as gay on National TV (good for him) or b) Is so stupid that he doesn’t realize that he just accidentally suggested he’s gay on National TV (also good for him).”
Air Force veteran Andrew Goss congratulated Trump for “going on Fox & Friends this morning & coming out on National Television. Man, didn’t see that one coming.”
David Mack, deputy director of breaking news at Buzzfeed, wrote: “[Eric Trump] threw the first brick at stonewall after demolishing it to build condos.”
ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio said: “The LGB community can have Eric Trump. I’ll stick with the Ts.”
Former Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill wrote that she was “not expecting to wake up to Eric Trump coming out on FOX & Friends, but good for him I guess. Maybe he can get his dad to stop fucking over the LGBTQ community now.”
Mostly the reaction was just LGBTQ people refusing to allow Trump to sit with us:
the gay community finding out Eric Trump came out on Fox News pic.twitter.com/5xz3GzWj6L
— V🥺TE (@jstnorlando) September 29, 2020
Eric Trump: "The LGBT community, they are incredible. And you should see how they come out in full force for my father every single day. I'm part of that community, and we love the man."
The LGBT community: pic.twitter.com/mV1kPIvIJw
— Ben Yahr (@benyahr) September 29, 2020
Eric Trump: I'm part of the LGBT community, and we love my father.
Donald Trump: I said WHITE PRIDE not gay pride, you moron.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) September 29, 2020
Eric Trump: "I'm part of [the LGBT] community."
The LGBT community: "No you're not."
— Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) September 29, 2020
Dear Eric Trump,
After reviewing your application, we have found you to be an unrepentent dirtbag whose words and actions hurt our community and others. Therefore, your request for inclusion is denied. We had a meeting. There was glitter.
The LGBT Community
— L.A.Witt, etc. (@GallagherWitt) September 29, 2020
The Chromatica Council has reviewed and denied Eric Trump's application to join the LGBTQ community pic.twitter.com/hM5Irv2CPT
— Joey Nolfi (@joeynolfi) September 29, 2020
Journalist and talk show host Michael Signorile eventually weighed in to clear everything up, noting that Trump “isn’t coming out here. He’s just an idiot who sounds like he is.”
Signorile added: “Anyway, the idea that LGBTQ people — only 14% of whom supported Trump in ’16 — will now vote for Trump after he’s stripped them of rights but b/c their 401k might be doing better is ludicrous.”
Others noted that Trump likely misspoke and was instead quoting an LGBTQ person he had spoken to who supports his father.
The Fox & Friends segment referenced an op-ed in the New York Times, “Meet a Secret Trump Voter,” about a lesbian woman who is planning to vote for Donald Trump.
“Chris,” as the woman was known, said she was voting for Trump despite being a “well-educated, well-traveled and well-informed” registered Democrat who lives in Manhattan.
She justified voting for an administration that has continually attacked LGBTQ rights by pointing to, among other things, her gains in the stock market and the fact that 200,000 people have died due to Trump’s mishandling and underplaying of the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than the “millions of people” the news media claimed might die.
In response to both Trump’s comments and the Times op-ed, Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD, slammed the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ actions and claims that Donald Trump himself is an “ally” to LGBTQ people.
“The LGBTQ community is indeed incredible, but the Trump Administration’s record on LGBTQ issues is shameful and abysmal,” Ellis wrote on Twitter. “The Trump family and their surrogates lie about widespread support in our community. LGBTQ voters will not fall for it.
“We follow the facts: 175 anti-LGBTQ attacks in rhetoric and policy, including fighting all the way to the Supreme Court for the right to discriminate against LGBTQ workers and against qualified LGBTQ couples looking to adopt.”
Ellis also noted that “Washington Post fact checkers say calling President Trump a strong ally to LGBTQ people is ‘bonkers’ and ‘whoppers,'” and linked to a GLAAD ad which ran on Fox & Friends last month that aimed to “shed light on the Trump Administration’s true anti-LGBTQ record.”
Donald Trump’s own lesbian niece, Mary Trump, has criticized any characterization of the president as an LGBTQ ally. She claims that Trump is “uncomfortable” around gay and transgender people, and said it was “absurd” that her uncle believes that gay people “love” him.
“What’s worse [is] that on some level, he’s actually convinced himself that that is true,” she said. “Anyone who takes that seriously should be discounted out of hand.”
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