Graphic: Elena Scotti (Photos: Getty)
If one were to spend time ranking the Trump spawn from most evil to “sure,” Eric Trump, a man whose facial hair sometimes makes it look like he’s wearing a skin beard, falls squarely in the middle. Don Jr., his big manly brother, is the face of the Trump family enterprise, the son who is poised to take over the shambles left in their father’s wake. Eric, like his similarly ignored step-sister Tiffany, is the spare, not the heir. We have not been forced to hear much about Tiffany or Eric, as they are not that important to their father, but evil runs in the family, and because of this fact, they will not escape this situation unscathed.
Unlike other famous spares, Eric has been doing actual “work.” As the face of the Trump Organization, his primary responsibility over the past four years has been to keep the family grift running smoothly. In the wake of the insurrection and the historic second impeachment, the Trump Organization, and by extension, its brand, has lost many of its shiny accolades. The PGA will no longer do their golfing event at a Trump golf course. Deutsche Bank will no longer loan money to fund the Trump Organization’s shady business dealings or the massive amount of debt it has incurred over the years. Eric’s duty has been to hold this thing together with Post-its and packing tape, making sure the wheels don’t fall off, in an attempt at maintaining integrity. But now that the jig is up on the family grift, Eric and his family will face the consequences.
Tiffany, the other abandoned Trump child, has similarly escaped public scrutiny for the duration of her family’s time in the national spotlight, mostly because everyone, including Donald, has seemingly forgotten she exists. Tiffany reminded us of her existence during the Republican National Convention, giving a speech that was intended to cater to recent college graduates like herself, but was really just a poor Ivanka role-play; alas, Tiffany will always live in the shadow of her half-sister.
How helpful for Trump to father two sons and two daughters, two sets of useful idiots that are each uniquely suited for their father’s master plan. Don Jr and Ivanka are top-shelf liquor, but Eric and Tiffany are the dusty bottle of Popov Vodka: sticky and abandoned. Their antics have been fodder for the tabloids and gossip magazines, full of speculation about whether or not either is worth anything other than their family name. Tiffany’s comings and goings are now reported on by People and Page Six. She’s looking at houses in Miami, she’s tweeting “happy birthday” to her brother, Eric, in the middle of the insurrection. Remember that Tiffany’s mother is Marla Maples—a fact that Papa Trump would most likely love to forget. This crucial difference has allowed Tiffany to fly under the radar, making appearances when she needs to, diligently repeating what her handlers have told her to say, and then quietly cashing what I assume is a large check, and going about her business. For so long, she’s been able to rely on her siblings to take the fall, while she coasts in the background, graduating law school and flexing like a middling influencer on Instagram.
The day before the inauguration, Tiffany announced her engagement to Micheal Boulos on Instagram, posing for a photo opp that at a quick glance, looks like it could maybe be Ivanka and Jared.
The timing of the post is impeccable—a ham-fisted attempt at stealing the spotlight from her father’s retreat into what I can only hope is quiet obscurity.
If Ivanka and Jared are somehow arrested for their bullshit, it might be Tiffany’s turn to step up. To be forced into action—to assume the role of blonde mouthpiece for her father’s ambitions—
is a role that Tiffany probably doesn’t want. Her punishment is infamy—fitting, cruel, and just enough. Eric Trump, meanwhile, has the common sense of a paper bag, and has been called to testify in a fraud probe of the Trump Organization brought by the New York Attorney General, the first of likely many. Coupled with the same sort of hunger for fame that is the Trump family’s true legacy, this means that all he’s done for four years is parrot his father and brother’s racist garbage, leaning into the rhetoric just a little too far, in an attempt to show Daddy that he is just as worthy as the other one, while pulling the Trump Org strings behind the scenes.
In November, Eric claimed that coronavirus was a hoax, and that it would go away after the election. On the day his father was impeached for a second time, he gave an interview to the Associated Press crying, much like a whiny little baby, that “cancel culture” is to blame for his family’s shortcomings. There is no specific punishment required for Eric that would make him suffer in a way that is particularly cruel or otherwise unkind, because he has been living the middle child’s perpetual struggle for acceptance for his entire life. He will always need Papa, but Papa will certainly discard him to save himself. That is punishment enough.