Donald Trump Jr tried to defend his father, US President Donald Trump, against racism allegations, saying he can't be a racist because "all the rappers" and "his African-American friends" have photos with him.
In recent weeks, Trump triggered widespread criticism after he reportedly called Haiti, El Salvador and African nations "shithole countries". During a meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on immigration, he apparently questioned why immigrants from those countries should be allowed to "come here" and said "we should have more people from Norway".
Lawmakers in the US and across the globe immediately denounced Trump's remarks as racist and xenophonic, while critics argued that it was just the latest example of his demeaning statements and racist behaviour. Trump, however, pushed back against the report saying he is the "least racist person".
While the White House dismissed claims that Trump is a racist, his sons too attempted to defend their father against the backlash.
In January, Eric Trump said the president can't be a racist because he only "sees one colour: green" — a remark that drew a wave of jokes and taunts on social media.
In a recent interview with right-wing outlet Daily Caller on Sunday, Trump Jr. also said the accusations have been "terrible to watch".
"I know him, I've seen him my whole life," Trump Jr. reportedly said. "I've seen the things he's done. It's amazing, all the rappers, all his African-American friends, from Jesse Jackson to Al Sharpton, I have pictures with them...It was only when he got into politics that all of a sudden, 'Oh, he's the most terrible human being ever'."
He was referring to pictures of his father with a number of rappers, clicked over the years, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Ja Rule, Puff Daddy and Lil Jon.
Trump Jr.'s "bizarre" defence came just over a week after his father publicly slammed Jay-Z in a tweet over black unemployment saying someone should tell the rapper that it is at the "lowest rate ever recorded".
However, Trump was immediately criticised by many who questioned why he chose to blast Jay-Z only a day after the rapper criticised him but has yet to comment on Eminem's sharp, months-long criticism of the president.
Trump's son described the accusations of racism levied against his dad as a "smear" that distract people from those "who are actually oppressed".
"Certainly, racism exists, but if it's your response to any argument you can't win," Trump Jr. told the Daily Caller. "You actually do a disservice to those people actually afflicted by it, to those people who are actually oppressed and hurt by real racism, real sexism."
Social media users did not take too kindly to Trump's "ridiculous" defence of his father and responded with a slew of mocking taunts and memes. Many people said his remarks are just "one step to right of 'some of my friends are black'".
"Junior isn't the sharpest tool in the shed," one person joked. Another person said: "The collective intelligence in this family is astounding."