Almost the entire Trump family sat down for a special town hall meeting hosted by Anderson Cooper on April 12.
The program gave a more complete picture of the family, covering everything from the way Donald Trump raised the kids, to his current status and discontent with the Republican race, to his view of women.
Here are some of the highlights of the night, starting first with Trump’s claim that the rules are “stacked against” him:
COOPER: You have been very critical, though, of what happened in Colorado. And I want to read out some of the things you have said. You said the nominating system in Colorado is, quote, “rigged, disgusting, and dirty.” You called it a corrupt deal full of crooked shenanigans. Ted Cruz is saying you’re just being a whiner. I mean, the bottom line is, the rules are the rules. Didn’t you just get outplayed on the ground?
TRUMP: You know why the rules—I know the rules very well, but I know that it’s stacked against me by the establishment. I fully understand it. We had people out there, and they weren’t heard. And then, in fact, today, when it was announced—the numbers were announced—they put out something on Twitter saying, oh, we stopped Trump, essentially, we stopped Trump, we stopped—that was put out by the party in Colorado. The point is, it was stacked against us.
In a USA Today interview, Trump named John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker as possible Vice President picks. When questioned by Cooper about his choices being establishment candidates here was his response:
COOPER: It’s interesting, because they are all sort of, you know, you could argue establishment-type candidates. Is that—whoever you would pick for a vice president, we’ve talked about this before, is that what you would look for, somebody who—with political experience on the ground in Washington, essentially a Washington player who can help you with Congress?
TRUMP: Yes. Yes.
COOPER: Without a doubt?
TRUMP: I’m a business guy. We’re going to make great deals on trade. We’re going to do—it’s right in my wheelhouse. It’s so easy for me. We’re going have a really strong military. We’re going to rebuild our military. We’re going to take care of health care. I’m going to do so well with so many different things. But I do want—you don’t need two like me. I want to have somebody that can deal with Congress, that gets along with Congress. That’s a Washington person.
It was reported earlier this week that Ivanka and Eric Trump could not vote for their father in the upcoming New York primary. Ivanka Trump has this to say when pressed on the issue:
COOPER: Ivanka, Eric, it’s no surprise, I got to ask you, there was a news just this week that both of you were not registered to vote in the primary. What happened?
IVANKA: Well, I’m an independent, and I’ve always voted based on the candidate as opposed to based on the party, and it was actually a very interesting experience. So, we’re not a family of politicians. We haven’t been in politics very long.
New York has one of the most onerous rules in terms of registration and it required us to register a long time ago, almost close to a year ago. And, we didn’t do that.
We found out about it sort of after the fact. But, it was actually why I started making a series of videos to educate people in each of the individual states, because every state is different.
When asked about Ivanka’s affiliation with the Independent party, Trump said that he was “fine with it,” but “has a feeling” she’s going to vote for him in November.
IVANKA: I’m an independent.
COOPER: What was your reaction when you found out that they weren’t going to be able to vote for you in the primary?
TRUMP: Well, I knew that Ivanka was independent, and I was fine with it, and I understand why she is, you know? It’s hard to be thrilled with what’s going on in politics, okay? Either party. If you look at what’s going on, and she was an independent. She’s going to switch over to be a Republican, I guess, at some point. Perhaps she wants to see what’s going on.
I have a feeling she’ll be voting in November for me. I have a really strong feeling…
At one point Trump opened up about his brother’s drinking problem, and the warning to his kids to never drink or do drugs:
TRUMP: My brother was this phenomenally handsome guy, great guy, just great in every way, the best personality, everything. But he started drinking and it became a real problem for him.
And he used to tell me—he was quite a bit older, he used to tell me, don’t ever drink, and he would say, don’t smoke. And in those days it wasn’t the drug thing, it was really the alcohol thing much more so. Today you have to add the word drug.
And he would really—you know, he knew he had a problem and he was one of my truly great teachers. My father and my brother. I say that all the time. My brother because of this and other things. But he would say, don’t ever drink, don’t ever drink.
And I’ve never had a drink, I mean, I’ve never had a glass of alcohol and yet I own the largest winery in the East Coast, it’s a crazy thing, but that’s okay.
COOPER: Was that something you remember distinctly growing up?
IVANKA: Absolutely. Every day of our life. Every morning. Don’t drink, don’t do drugs.
COOPER: Every morning?
D. TRUMP JR.: Every morning before school, without fail.
An audience member questioned the Trump children what their special bond with their father is. Eric fielded the question and drew loud applause from the audience:
AUDIENCE MEMBER: My question is, rather it’s a statement. When I was younger, I formed a very special bond with my dad through football. We used to spend countless hours together watching games and I wanted to know, do you have a special bond with your dad? Just the two of you?
ERIC: Well, I have many special bonds with my father. We love work, right? It’s something that really brings us together. We love building. The two of us just love machinery, we love building, we love concrete, we love jobs.
We’ll sit on the phone at 6:00 o’clock in the morning, and we’ll talk about our favorite jobs.
I think that brings a lot of fun to us and a lot of the relationship.
We also love golf, you know? We go out, we play golf together, and it’s just something that we really enjoy, so.
Listen, there’s a lot of things. He’s got a great sense of humor. He’s been the greatest father in the world. He’s an amazing deal maker. You know, he’s just always had so much love for us, and his whole family.
He’s an amazing guy, one of my best friends in the entire world. My best friend in the entire world. He’s an amazing man. But there’s really a lot that bring it together.