Donald Trump's son Eric has lashed out at the "crazies" and "sick human beings" who have targeted his family since his father decided to run for US president. Eric Trump, 33, said his heavily pregnant wife has taken "ghastly" abuse on social media.

"We take a lot of super unfair shots but I'm a big boy," said Trump, who is one of the president's five children. "Where it bothers me is when Lara [his wife] takes the hit.

In an interview with The Times, he added: "There are crazies, sick human beings out there, who will go after a pregnant lady, who will go after Barron, my 11-year-old brother. They will go after my younger sister, Tiffany, a 22-year-old girl at law school, someone trying to find her way. Politics is tough."

Eric Trump gave the interview at a media event to open new facilities at the Turnberry golf course in Scotland his family owns. The golf resort has faced vociferous local opposition in Ayrshire over environmental concerns.

President Trump and his family, who work for the company that bears the family name and which earned him his fortune, have been accused by critics of using the White House for commercial gain, though they deny this.

His controversial tenure as president - which began in January 2017 - has seen his poll ratings tank as his unpopularity soared amid controversies such as the travel ban on certain Muslim countries, his attempts to repeal Obamacare, and, most notably, the Russia scandal over alleged links between his presidential campaign and the Kremlin.

But some of the criticism has spilled over into abuse of his family. In one particular episode, his young son Barron was subjected to speculation in the media that he has autism. But the Trumps found a defender from one unlikely corner - the Clinton family.

"Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does – to be a kid," tweeted Chelsea Clinton, Bill and Hillary's daughter. Though she added: "Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids."

In another incident, American comedian Kathy Griffin faced a backlash after posing for a photo holding a model of President Trump's severed head. Trump said his son Barron "was having a hard time" after seeing the image of his father's bloodied head, while First Lady Melania Trump called it "very disturbing".

Griffin later apologised in an emotional video.

Eric Trump
Eric Trump, Donald's son, arrives at Trump Tower in New York CityDrew Angerer/ Getty Images