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Don Jr, US president Donald Trump’s son, was recently banned from tweeting after he posted a video clip discussing the benefits of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Many, including the President, have suggested that the drug works as a preventative measure against COVID-19, despite medical evidence suggestion the contary. Don Jr’s post, Twitter said, violated its COVID-19 misinformation rules.
The 42-year-old has worked closely with his father throughout his first term as President.
He was also a close partner of Trump’s before he entered politics, with Don Jr and his siblings working for the family real estate business.
In 2006, Forbes arranged an interview between Trump and his two children, Ivanka and Don Jr, who were his “new apprentices”.
A similar set up to Trump’s reality TV show, The Apprentice, the father of five asked his children about business, real estate, and what they thought of their father.
Half way through the interview, Trump asked: “What don’t you know that you’d like me to teach you?”
Don Jr attempted to turn on the charm, and replied: “I know everything so it’s pretty irrelevant – I’m a Trump”, before awkwardly laughing and continuing with his answer.
He added: “But no, I’m a Trump; I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to do this with you for a couple of years and to see a lot of projects through, so a lot of what Ivanka says holds true.”
The cringeworthy moment was met with a wry smile from Trump, and an approving: “I like that answer, that’s a great answer”.
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Ivanka, who has become one of the President’s closest advisors, appeared more earnest in her answer, responding: “Personally what I admire the most about you, people say you’re a great marketer, you’re great at putting your name out there, you’re a great brander – all of which is true.
“But you build smart; you don’t spend stupid money, you don’t spend $800 (£600) on glossy brochures to hand out to everybody who walks in the door, you build a great product.”
Meanwhile, Don Jr will still be able to browse Twitter and send direct messages in the interim of his account’s suspension.
It could prove a decisive blow for the Trumps’ use of social media as a direct messaging platform to the family’s millions of supporters.
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The Trumps are not shy of stirring controversy via social media.
Last month, Trump and Ivanka were criticised for endorsing an Hispanic food company on social media.
It came after the head of Goya Foods expressed his support for Trump, prompting calls to boycott the company.
Their promotion of the brand immediately raised concerns over ethics violations.
As an employee of the government, Ivanka is barred from using public office to endorse products or bolster personal business interests.
In May, Twitter hid one of Trump’s tweets for “glorifying violence” after the President quoted the former Miami police chief Walter Headley, who in December 1967 promised violent reprisals to protests over stop-and-frisk tactics.
It came during the peak of the George Floyd protests, the black unarmed Minneapolis man who was killed by a white police officer.
In the tweet, Trump wrote: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
Two hours later, Twitter added a note to the tweet that read: “This tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the tweet to remain accessible.”
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