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Eric Trump discusses how guns kept him from drugs

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Eric Trump discusses how guns kept him from drugs

Watch: Eric Trump talks Syria and gun rights

Eric Trump, the presidential candidate's middle son, isn't a parent yet. But he already has a soft spot for children, including those facing life-threatening diseases at St. Jude's Hospital where his personal charity tries to help.

So it was a natural question to ask: what did he think about that iconic, harrowing photo of the bloodied Syrian boy last week, and could his father Donald Trump find a way to help such young refugees while maintaining a tough law-and-order immigration policy?

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In this image made from video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), a child sits in an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstirke in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Syrian opposition activists reported an airstrike at the al-Qaterji neighborhood in Aleppo late Wednesday. (Aleppo Media Center via AP)

A photo that reverberated around the world.

"He was adorable, and the atrocity he had gone through, first of all, it's not right,"  the 32-year-old executive businessman answered. "It's not right that people have to live in that condition at all. It also speaks to so many of our failed policies, foreign policy that frankly put Syria in exactly that position.

"We shouldn't have had the involvement, we've destabilized the entire Middle East, and I think maybe that would have happened, but it probably wouldn't of in terms of the civil wars and the unrest that you are seeing in that country."

So how would the elder Trump deal with such a boy seeking refuge?

"My father has been a big proponent of safe-zones, build a great safe-zone. Let our partners and our allies over in the Middle East let them contribute to that, let them help us protect that safe zone so little boys like that can't be hurt and they don't need to live in those awful, awful conditions," he explained.

"And so let's protect those refugees - that's our duty as Americans, to take care and show grace around the world. But that doesn't mean hundreds and hundreds of thousands people that we can't vet should come into the country without knowing who they really are. That's really the distinction in my father's policy."

Most Americans had not seen Eric Trump on the national stage until last month, when he spoke about his father at the Republican National Convention before Donald Trump was formally nominated to be the GOP torch bearer for the November election.

Watch Eric Trump's full speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention

Watch Eric Trump's speech the night before his father accepted the GOP convention.

Educated at the Jesuit-run Georgetown University, this Trump son has risen to be the Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization. He also runs a family wine business and has a charitable foundation with his own name on it, one that recently donated $20 million for a children's cancer research lab.

Two years ago he married his longtime girlfriend, the TV producer Lara Yunaska.

A full presidential campaign now under his belt, he's used to media scrutiny and answering questions.

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Donald Trump's son Eric Trump, right and wife Lara interact with the crowd during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Eric and Lara Trump at the GOP convention.

A prize trophy hunter once targeted for criticism by animal activists, he is an unabashed supporter of Second Amendment gun rights and credits his love of sports shooting from keeping him as a teen from falling prey to the ills that can afflict other young rich kids.

"People often ask me, 'Eric, I see so many people of your generation, and so many people that you went to school with that went a very, very different track than you in life.' They got caught with substance abuse problems, they got caught with drug problems, they went to rehab and I certainly saw that in various peers of mine," he said.

"I often tell people I credit a lot of that to the shooting sports. I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed competing in trap and skeet shooting. They were things that grounded me. I loved going out fishing with my grandfather as a kid," he added.

"We'd get up early in the morning and we'd go out on his little boat and we'd just have a great time and it was an amazing experience and I really still hold those experiences true to my heart and even now as I watch the next generation of our family grow up, my little nieces, my little nephews, I don't have kids yet, but there's nothing more that I love than taking them for a walk in the woods or taking them fishing, and something again that I think kept me on the right path in life and something that I appreciate."

"So the second amendment is a big part of my life and I believe in because I think it can do tremendous good. The outdoors, I'd love to see more millennials, you know it's beautiful, it's peaceful, and you know it's been something very special to my life."


Eric Frederick Trump


  • Age 32
  • Executive Vice President, Trump Organization 
  • President, Trump Winery
  • Georgetown University 
  • Married
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