Why did Donald Trump, Jr. (hereafter referred to as simply Jr.) take that highly questionable meeting with a representative of the Russian government? The obvious answer is to collect some “dirt” on HRC that he could pass on to his dad for use in both the ongoing primary campaign and eventually, the general election, assuming Trump the elder won the GOP nomination. Within that context, such a motive is easily discerned.
However, if there is one thing you can bank on, it is that human behavior is rarely driven by a single force or stimulus. So, we turn next to some Trump family history to see if we can find therein, what else might have given impetus to Jr.’s Russian “hook-up” in June 2016 that has become a bombshell revelation.
Family feud (1)
In 1989, Trump, Sr., then married to Ivana, began a thinly disguised extra-marital affair with a beauty contest winner named Marla Maples. This was no one-nighter and soon became the titillating stuff of tabloid news. As best that can be gathered, Jr. was age 10 years at the time the liaison started. By 1991 when his mother finally filed for divorce he was 12.
Jr. did not take this well at all. Embittered by his father’s selfishness and callous treatment of mother Ivana, Jr. stopped talking to his dad. This estrangement lasted for about a year. This was followed by a years-long period of father and son coming back together though, at the time, there was no way of knowing if bitterness on the part of either party lingered on.
Jr. entered college, matriculating at the University of Pennsylvania. During his time there, he gained the reputation as a roaring drunk, collecting the sobriquet of “diaper Don” due to the frequency with which he passed out on someone else’s bed and soon lost control of his bladder.
At one point, father and son made a date to attend a Yankees’ baseball game together. Eager to get a glimpse of the real estate mogul, Jr.’s roommate and several cohorts clustered near the door of Jr. room. They were in plain view when the elder arrived, to be greeted by his son wearing a Yankee jersey. What then transpired was posted on Facebook by the roommate, Scott Melker (2): Seeing Jr. so casually attired, Trump slapped him across the face so hard that he knocked his progeny to the floor, then issued the directive “Get into a suit and meet me downstairs”, and walked off (3).
It would hardly be surprising to find that this sort of dysfunction has played out in any number of families. So, we ought not to chalk up elder’s decking of jr. as unusual. But, the point here is that we are looking for a second and more obscure motive for Jr.’s behavior viz-a-viz the Russians (see above). The speculation now offered is that it had a lot to do with getting back in daddy’s good graces and elevating himself in the hierarchy of siblings. In that regard, it is interesting that in Trump Tower, the offices of the elder and daughter Ivanka are both on the 26th floor whereas Jr. has occupancy of an office on the 25th.
Given all of the dark clouds that hang over the Trump presidency, the foregoing history easily qualifies as inconsequential. But, it does tell us something about how the Trump family operates, and in particular about the decided lack of impulse control exhibited by 45; something we have witnessed over and over again with his tweets.
- Some of this history has been reported in various print media. Other parts were fleshed out by author Tim O’Brien in his book TrumpNation: The Art of Being Donald Trump. Published in 2005 by Warner Books.
- Anyone interested in reading Melker’s account can access it by Googling “Facebook Trump Jr. Melker.”
- It is well within the elder’s character to hold a grudge and to allow it to impel his behavior, even years later.