While hawking upward of $1 billion in luxury condos in India, Donald Trump Jr. complimented poor people living in the country for their smiles, saying there’s “something unique” about them.
Speaking during an event hosted by CNBC’s India affiliate, Trump Jr. said, “I think there is something about the spirit of the Indian people that is unique here to other parts of the emerging world.”
“You go through a town, and I don’t mean to be glib about it, but you can see the poorest of the poor and there is still a smile on a face, you say hello — it is a different spirit than that which you see in other parts of the world where people walk around so solemn, and I think there is something unique about that,” he added.
Trump Jr. went on to say that the smiles “speak to the future potential of what this country could do,” which “is everything” to him. Financial disclosures indicate that in 2016, the Trump family earned as much as $3 million from royalties associated with projects in India, and Trump Jr.’s trip is aimed at making the country even more lucrative for the Trump Organization, which President Trump still directly profits from.
“That doesn’t exist elsewhere, and it always struck me as — I know some of the most successful businessmen in the world, and some of them are the most miserable people in the world also, right?” Trump Jr. continued. “And there’s that spirit that really shines through, and I think that speaks to the future potential of what this country could do, because that to me is everything, and it’s always been amazing to see, because I couldn’t even understand it until you keep coming back and it’s there and it’s not a show.”
But the president’s eldest son — trying to sell luxury condos that cost as much as $1.6 million in a country where the per capita income in 2016 was $1,670 — did eventually mention India’s “hardships.”
"You go through a town…. you can see the poorest of the poor and there's still a smile on their face."
Donald Trump Jr. arrives in India on a week-long visit to help attract buyers for his family's luxury apartments. pic.twitter.com/wPHyBQpwi7
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 20, 2018
“Not to say that there aren’t hardships — I understand that and fully recognize that,” Trump Jr said. “But there is something that’s different about the people here that I have not seen to the same level in other parts of the emerging world.”
Trump Jr.’s trip to India consists of a “weeklong itinerary of cocktail parties, dinners and events with real estate brokers, business leaders and prospective buyers,” according to the New York Times, which reports that he’s traveling with a Secret Service detail.
Thanks for a great lunch at the iconic Birla House, adjoining Gandhi Smriti. I enjoyed meeting New Delhi’s business leaders. Thanks to the hosts – Shobhana Bhartia, Deepak Parekh and Milind Deora @milinddeora pic.twitter.com/7cAhXSLny9
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 21, 2018
Potential buyers of properties in a residential tower in Guargaon, a city outside New Delhi, can purchase direct access to the president’s eldest son, who’s running the Trump Organization with his brother Eric during their father’s tenure as president.
“Book your Trump Towers’ residence before 21st February 2018 and join Mr. Donald Trump Jr. for a conversation and dinner on 23rd February 2018,” a full-age ad in The Times of India said.
TRUMP INC's INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION: Prospective buyers of condos at TRUMP TOWERS DELHI offered chance to meet @DonaldJTrumpJr next week for "a conversation & dinner," per full page ads in @timesofindia. Sales campaign slogan:"TRUMP HAS ARRIVED. HAVE YOU?" https://t.co/XJoBZq1bNz pic.twitter.com/n8yCJj7Vxc
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) February 18, 2018
The president upended decades of precedent when he refused to divest from his business interests upon becoming president.
Trump Jr. and Eric Trump promised to stay out of their dad’s politics so their family could avoid conflicts of interests, but they’ve since emerged as two of their fathers most loyal and dogged defenders on national television, where they regularly conflate business and politics.