On 11 February 2019, a social media backlash mounted against the eldest son of President Donald Trump for a comment disparaging teachers he made at a rally held that same day for his father in El Paso, Texas.
While speaking to the crowd, Trump Jr. stated that "I love seeing some young conservatives, because I know it's not easy. Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don't have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth."
As is often the case with outrageous comments that make headlines, readers asked us whether Trump Jr. really made that remark. He did, and it can be viewed in a video uploaded to the social media platform Twitter by Vox journalist Aaron Rupar:
.@DonaldJTrumpJr's message to young conservatives: "Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don't have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth." pic.twitter.com/IGzyK48Ilp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 12, 2019
Predictably, the comment drew heavy criticism, with digital video platform NowThis snarkily declaring "Large adult son thinks teachers are ‘losers’":
Large adult son thinks teachers are ‘losers’ pic.twitter.com/oXsSR39kQp
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 12, 2019
Some responses to the controversy were more sober, however, with one commenter reacting angrily to state: "I am one of those 'loser teachers' and I will do more good in the next five days in my classroom than you will do in the rest of your sorry life":
@DonaldJTrumpJr - I am one of those “loser teachers” and I will do more good in the next five days in my classroom than you will do in the rest of your sorry life. You are the broken progeny of a failure of a father. Try breaking the cycle and being your own man. #beBetter https://t.co/kf1Jp2GfkY
— defnotjennifer (@defnotjennifer) February 12, 2019
Donald Trump, Jr.'s remarks weren't the only controversy to stem from the El Paso rally. President Trump claimed that his campaign had received special permission from the El Paso Fire Department to let 10,000 people inside the County Coliseum where the event was held. A fire department spokesman stated that the venue holds 6,500 people, and no permission was given to accommodate a significantly larger crowd for the rally.