eTN recently dipped into its archives when approached by multiple media outlets with inquiries about our 2008 sit-down interview with Donald Trump Junior. At the time it was a benign article, almost a vanity piece, with Trump trumpeting his views during a one-on-one interview with eTN staffer, Hazel Heyer, at a New York real estate conference.
Our reporting was about hotel investing in emerging markets, eTN reports on global travel and tourism infrastructure, trends, events and breaking news for the industry. We are not a consumer publication.
A decade later this interview has recently generated widespread interest, while at the time of publication in 2008, it barely registered any interest with our readership. The opening paragraph had to spell out who Trump Jr. is.
“Donald Trump Jr., is the eldest child and son of famed real estate developer Donald Trump and his first wife Ivana Trump. He currently works with his siblings in buying, selling and franchising prime commercial real estate including hotel towers spanning the entire globe, from the US to Dubai.” the writer helpfully explained.
Many direct quotes from Trump Jr in the eTN 2008 article are directly at odds with more recent statements from both Donald Trump and White House communications staff.
For example, Donald Trump tweeted on January 11, 2017: “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”
Pass the fire extinguisher, do we smell pants on fire?
In 2008 Donald Trump Jr was eager to provide his insights into emerging hotel markets and Trump property investments: “In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. There’s indeed a lot of money coming for new-builds and resale reflecting a trend in the Russian economy and, of course, the weak dollar versus the ruble,” he said. If he were to choose his top A-list for investments in the emerging world, Trump said his firm would choose China and Russia.
Trump Jr also disclosed his favorite city is Moscow. ” I really prefer Moscow over all cities in the world. Unlike other countries in the world, this country has five major cities where people would at least be happy being close to living in the metro.” said Trump Jr.
While sharing he preferred Moscow over all cities in the world, he also revealed it was a “scary place”.
“As much as we want to take our business over there, Russia is just a different world. Though the legal structure is in place for what we have today, and even 99 percent is covered, that 1 percent not covered could be 100 percent covered over there because it is a question of who knows who, whose brother is paying off who, etc.,” Trump said, adding, “It really is a scary place.”
By Trump Jr’s own account, Russian money “poured” into their NYC and Dubai Trump projects, but the risk factor for investing Trump money into Russia projects wasn’t all that palatable, despite his proclamation Russia was an “A-list” attractive emerging market, along with China. We’ll take your rubles, comrade, no problem! Until a decade later.
All of which is a good reminder the internet really is forever and archives are not always your friend.
To read the full eTN 2008 Trump Jr. interview CLICK HERE.