Trump Jr: Charges Against Trump Organization Are "Banana Republic Stuff" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Trump Jr.: Charges Against Trump Organization Are "Banana Republic Stuff"


Donald Trump Jr. reacts to the Trump Organization being charged with tax crimes on 'Fox News Primetime.'

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: Donald Trump Jr. is the executive V.P. of the Trump Organization. He joins me now for a “Primetime” exclusive.

All right, Don, "The New York Times" couldn't even find a similar situation to this where anybody who was involved in anything like this was criminally charged. And you know "The New York Times" looked very hard.

So, I don't know. What is your reaction to what happened today?

DONALD TRUMP JR., TRUMP ORGANIZATION EXECUTIVE V.P.: Listen, Jesse, this is the political persecution of a political enemy. This is what Vladimir Putin does.

Just ask Navalny. He's been sitting in a cell. They’re not sure why, but guess what? If no one's went to challenge him and no one’s going to call it out, that's what's going to happen.

And that's what's happened in New York. They spent more than two years, but they've been looking approximate five years because this is, what, like the equivalent of Russia, Russia, Russia. Like this is the 12th iteration, right?

That failed, Mueller failed, Ukraine failed, Don Jr. treason failed, Don Jr. perjury failed; they’re going to keep going.

This is what they promised. They joined -- the D.A.'s office joined, Jesse, with the attorney general's office because she herself campaigned on, I’m going to take down Trump.


TRUMP JR.: We're going to do this, before seeing anything.

After five years, 3 million documents, countless witnesses and hours of grand jury testimony outside forensic auditors, this is what they come up with. They're going to charge a guy who is 75 years old on crimes of avoiding -- paying taxes on fringe benefit. Like, you know, people in corporate America get a corporate car.

Jesse, I’m sure you've paid taxes every time you've taken a car to or from work, right? It happens sometimes.

TRUMP JR.: This is what -- this is not what they promised the American public, but they have to do something.

Notice how they brought it Thursday late afternoon going to Fourth of July weekend, because it's nonsense.

But this is what they do to their enemies. No different than Putin, no different than the Mullahs (ph), they can do it.


TRUMP JR.: They can tie you up. They can try to destroy a man's life, his reputation, that's all this has been. And this is what they've got after all of that time.

Now, imagine the millions they spent had they done that actually trying to stop real criminals in New York, like the tens of thousands that looted in New York last year. Hundreds of them were released without even a slap on the wrist just last week.

Penn Station is like a warzone. The city is going to hell, and this is where they are focusing, because, you know, it's easy to go after your political enemies in deep blue states and cities like New York City.

WATTERS: So, just to put into context for the American people. In 2008, the prosecutors didn't charge any of the bankers that caused the biggest financial collapse in about 100 years. Not one banker was charged anything, all right?

Now they're trying to lock up an executive for not properly writing off a company car. So they’re alleging $100,000 a year in perks over 15 years. This is a $2 billion company, the Trump Organization. So, we're talking about pennies on the dollar, OK? Pennies on the dollar.

TRUMP JR.: It goes further than that, Jesse. It goes further than that.

WATTERS: And if they can’t find -- so, this is all they can find? This is all they can find after promising, what, illegal loans from Moscow, illegal tax shelters?

TRUMP JR.: Yeah.

WATTERS: They promised us the world. So, if this is all they can find, a Mercedes that was improperly filed in a tax return, this is usually dealt with, from my understanding, may be a fine, maybe just refile the tax. Never have they charged --

TRUMP JR.: Yeah.

WATTERS: -- anybody criminally like this before.

TRUMP JR.: Correct. "The New York Times" could not find a single case in the history of the IRS, 230 years, not one case prosecuted criminally for fringe benefits. Not one. But they make sure to say it’s definitely not political. It has nothing to do with political.

They didn't charge the bankers that took down the global economy. They haven't done this prior in 230 years. But, Jesse, it's definitely not political, right?

WATERS: Right.

TRUMP JR.: Let's take the numbers even further, right? You’re saying -- they’re saying $1.7 million over 15 years. But it's not $1.7 million. That's income.

The taxable portion of that to New York state is 8 percent. That's $136,000 over 16 years. That's ten grand a year.

Half of that, because my father is a good guy, he paid for this guy's grandchildren's education. Our tax experts say that's not even taxable. You can pay for someone's education that way. So, you cut it down.

It comes out to like 10 -- less than 10 grand a year. It's about closer to five grand a year if you take out the education, and that's what they got. But again --


TRUMP JR.: -- is this what they promised the American people?

This isn't. This is a farce. It's a disgrace that they spent millions of dollars and years.

Instead of prosecuting actual murderous thugs on the streets of New York, they go after their political enemies. And if we’re going to pretend for one second this is anything other than a witch hunt that they can get away with it, because where do you go, Jesse? To another leftist judge in New York who’s going to says, you know what, I don’t care, go after your political enemies.

This is going on in America right now. This is banana republic stuff, and if our press was even a little bit intellectually honest, they'd be calling at that, because this is not the story line that they have been sold and told by the A.G. and the D.A. over the last few years. This is nonsense, and it has to be called out as such.

WATTERS: And if they were honest, they’d be looking at those wires from Moscow to the Biden family, from Beijing to the Biden family --

TRUMP JR.: Yeah.

WATTERS: -- holding 10 for the big guy. No interest in that at all. It does look like political warfare by prosecutors.

TRUMP JR.: They won’t even look.

WATTERS: No, they don't care. They don’t -- they really don't care.

TRUMP JR.: They could care less. We’ve seen more about Hunter Biden --

WATTERS: I will give the last word. Let me just ask you a quick question, are you worried at all about this Weisselberg guy? Are you worried? Because you know what they're trying to do, they're trying to put the screws to him.

TRUMP JR.: Yeah.

WATTERS: So, you know how it goes. Are you worried?

TRUMP JR.: That's the point, Jesse. You know, everyone -- everyone is talking about, well, they want to get him to flip. There has to be something to flip on, Jesse.

The reality is this. You know, prior to politics, no one questioned whether my dad built good buildings or ran a great business or had incredible assets or built -- you know, exquisite hotels. That was never a question.

It was only when he took on the Democrat establishment that all of these things magically came. They have to look at it very carefully now, Jesse, because it has nothing to do with politics. They’re very clear about that. That’s what it is.

We've seen more stuff about Hunter Biden that they haven't even looked at. That we know is real, that we know is accurate, that they won't even investigate. That is a thousand times worse than anything that they're doing so far, and they've been spending five years, millions of dollars in countless hours and reviewing millions and millions of documents.

This is what they come up with. Give me a break. It's a disgrace.

They drop it on a Thursday night going into Fourth of July weekend because they know it's a disgrace. They know that the people that they're playing to, you know, the rich liberal New Yorkers, they're in the car, probably their corporate car, going up to their homes in the Hamptons right now. So they don't see it and realize how much of an embarrassment it is.

It's a disgrace and needs to be called out.

WATTERS: It's a joke, thanks for calling it out. Don Jr., we appreciate you joining “Primetime”.

TRUMP JR.: Thanks, Jesse. Have a good one.

WATTERS: You, too.
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