On Monday, The Atlantic posted its October cover story, "The Heir," a beat-by-beat retelling of how Donald Trump&aposs three eldest children (plus son-in-law Jared Kushner) have been competing for the president&aposs love and affection while also leveraging their own business interests and personal brands. As McKay Coppins writes in the piece, Ivanka was—and to some extent, still is—President Trump&aposs favorite fully-grown kiddo, but she&aposs run into an unexpected challenger in the Succession-like battle to the throne that&aposs presumably located at the penthouse level of Trump Tower: None other than Don Jr.
By the end of the  election, Don’s budding #MAGA stardom was undeniable—and he had no intention of walking away. “Going back to doing deals is boring,” he reportedly told a gathering of gun enthusiasts. “The politics bug bit me.”
Coppins notes that Donald Jr. appeals to the MAGA crowd in ways his siblings do not—he genuinely embraced many of the tenets of conservatism years ago, unlike Ivanka, who has mostly stuck to publicly supporting her father with generalities, rather than outwardly siding with his far-right views and policy positions. Donald Jr. has emerged as a valued Republican surrogate, and "according to Republicans familiar with the discussions, he considered running for office somewhere in the Mountain West." But while Donald Jr. might win a Trump family straw poll among conservative voters, his dad has not been swayed, mostly because he thinks his son is an idiot.
“He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” the president reportedly said in 2017, after the full extent of Don Jr.&aposs haphazardly arranged Trump Tower Moscow meeting came to light.
POTUS&aposs less-than-flattering portrait of his son is shared by others who&aposve dealt with him outside of MAGA pep rallies. In 2017, the Daily Beast reported that campaign staffers had nicknamed Don Jr. as "Fredo." That was a reference to the not-so-bright son of The Godfather series—even before CNN anchor Chris Cuomo claimed it was an ethnic slur.
The Trump Tower Moscow meeting is Donald Jr.&aposs most obvious flub, but there have been others, especially on social media, where he&aposs become a MAGA meme lord.He called SNL "S&L" (which, to his credit, he did not delete); he shared a Pornhub joke about his father, the President of the United States; he asked if his two-year-old could be accused of sexual harassment; he told Virginia Republicans to vote for Ed Gillespie on the wrong day; and, most recently, he retweeted a racist conspiracy theory about California senator Kamala Harris after she had a strong performance in a Democratic presidential debate.
None of this fazes at least one person in Don Jr.&aposs orbit: His girlfriend since 2018, Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host who allegedly left the network after accusations of sexual misconduct. Coppins writes, "When an interviewer on Breitbart News’s radio show made a comment about Don’s political potential, Guilfoyle didn’t hesitate: &aposI think he’s the No. 1 up-and-coming political figure, for sure, on the right.”&apos
She may very well prove to be correct.
Originally Appeared on GQ