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Eric Trump Threatens Lawsuit Over Truthful Reporting on Speaking Tour

The tour’s speakers include an individual who has blamed Jewish people for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Eric Trump at his father's, former President Donald J. Trump's, address of a crowd for the opening ceremony of the New York City 100th annual Veterans Day Parade in 2019.

Eric Trump, son of former President Donald Trump, has threatened to sue MSNBC host Rachel Maddow over her accurate reporting that he will be taking part in a speaking tour alongside white supremacists this weekend.

Eric Trump — who, alongside his older brother Donald Trump Jr., helped manage his father’s companies while he was in office — is set to participate in the far right ReAwaken America Tour that is currently traveling across the country. Speakers participating in the tour have used the platform to spread unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, the COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTQ people, QAnon, and more. The event this weekend is slated to be held at one of Donald Trump’s properties, Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida.

A number of media organizations have noted that the tour includes speakers with white supremacist and Christian nationalist viewpoints. Some of the speakers are also known for espousing antisemitic ideals — including far right commentator Scott McKay, who has falsely claimed in the past that Jewish people orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and were involved in the presidential assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy; as well as Charlie Ward, a right-wing commentator and Holocaust denier who has praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and peddled false claims about Jewish people orchestrating the outbreak of viruses.

Other guests set to speak this weekend include: former Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro; former national security adviser (and Trump pardon recipient) Michael Flynn; Truth Social CEO and former congressman Devin Nunes; MyPillow CEO and election denier Mike Lindell; and Trump ally and former political adviser Roger Stone.

Flynn, who co-founded the tour, has also expressed Christian nationalist and antisemitic views. At previous locations on the tour, Flynn said he wants there to be only “one religion” (Christianity). He has also shared anti-Jewish sentiments on social media, with Media Matters noting that he once tweeted a post that read, “Not anymore, Jews.”

Maddow, like other media personalities, reported on the event, expressing disbelief on her program Monday night that Eric Trump — the adult son of a presidential candidate viewed by many as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in 2024 — would associate with speakers who openly express such bigoted views.

“I can’t really believe they are going ahead with it,” Maddow said.

In response to her reporting, Eric Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening that he would sue her or any other reporter who continued to report on his speaking engagement.

“If she or anyone else even remotely suggests I am anti-semitic I will not hesitate to take legal action against them personally,” Trump said in his tweet.

Joel Swanson, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago who is studying modern Jewish intellectual history, said that Trump misrepresented what Maddow said in her report.

“What Rachel Maddow said wasn’t that Eric Trump is personally antisemitic, but that he is appearing at a public event alongside Nazis and Holocaust deniers,” Swanson pointed out. “That’s simply true.”

Trump also suggested that he couldn’t be antisemitic because he and his family are vehemently “pro-Israel” (a notion that Swanson said in his tweet was “telling”), and that he shouldn’t be criticized for appearing with white supremacist speakers because he has family members who are Jewish. (His sister, Ivanka Trump, converted when she married her husband, Jared Kushner, and their children are Jewish.)

However, there are numerous examples of Eric Trump and his family members expressing antisemitic ideals.

In August 2019, when he was still president, Donald Trump smeared American Jews by using a common antisemitic trope, calling Jewish Americans who voted for Democrats “disloyal” to Israel. During a presidential debate in 2020, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists when prodded to do so by the moderator and his opponent, President Joe Biden.

Eric Trump’s brother, Donald Trump Jr., has used language invoking the Holocaust to attack their father’s political opponents.

Eric Trump has also been criticized for making antisemitic comments. In 2018, he said that journalist Bob Woodward promoted his book on Donald Trump on CNN to help “sell three extra books” and earn “three extra shekels.”

The phrase “shekels,” referring to the currency of Israel, is frequently used on alt right websites in a derogatory manner against Jewish people, reporters pointed out at the time.

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