Trump Opens Up About Brother Who Died

He tells 'Washington Post' he regrets pressuring brother Fred, who died at 42 as an alcoholic
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2019 12:20 PM CDT
Trump Opens Up About Brother Who Died
President Trump listens during a briefing on efforts to combat the opioid crisis in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Fred Trump Jr., Donald Trump's older brother, died at age 42—and the president of the United States has some regrets about the way he treated him while he was still alive. As the Washington Post explains, Trump has been using the story of Fred, who was an alcoholic, as he talks about his administration's efforts to fight the opioid crisis. And in a new interview with the Post, the president gave "what appears to be the fullest accounting he has ever given of his brother’s life and death, and he went further than he has before in acknowledging mistakes," per the newspaper. In particular, he says his "biggest mistake" was pushing his brother to help run the family business rather than pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. "I do regret having put pressure on him," he says, especially considering that when combined with their father, "There was sort of a double pressure put on him."

As his family continued to disagree with his career choice, Fred descended into alcoholism, eventually getting fired by TWA after a probationary period for new hires. His effort to build his own business did not succeed, and he ended up back with the family business. He got divorced and his health declined as Donald's fame and fortune increased. While some of Fred's friends have criticized his family for not doing enough to help him, the president says, "I don’t think there was much we could do at the time ... Things have been studied and learned right now that are much different." He says that it's because of Fred he doesn't drink—and also why he's so determined to fight against opioid addiction. "I don’t know that I’d be doing that had I not had the experience with Fred." (Read the full interview here.)

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