Donald Trump Jr. Airs Family Grievances (One Book at a Time)

WASHINGTON — On the eve of the first public hearing in the Democratic-led impeachment against President Trump, his eldest son was standing in the lobby of the family hotel, delivering firm handshakes and turning over copies of his book, “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,” to supporters who had paid $32 for the experience.

As he received his readers at the Trump International Hotel, Mr. Trump said that he hadn’t given much thought to what might transpire the next morning. But then he added, “I think it’s eventually going to come back to bite them in the ass.” Presumably he meant the Democrats.

It was actually just the sort of profane flourish that appears throughout “Triggered,” Mr. Trump’s literary debut and 287-page castigation of socialism, Democrats and the news media. It is written from the vantage point of a 41-year-old “son of a rich white guy living in 2019,” as Mr. Trump describes himself. He suggests early on that this identity renders him unable to voice an opinion without being attacked. It is a grievance he shares with his father, whom he paints as a tough-love figure throughout the book, as well as the “Shakespeare of 140 characters,” a wink to his father’s Twitter account.

Like the president, he doesn’t deal in subtleties: “Throughout the entire Russia investigation, it seemed, the Democrats in Congress had only one reason to exist, and that was to try and make my father and me cower in a corner, curl up in a ball, and die,” Mr. Trump wrote in one passage. He reserves a special amount of ire for the special counsel investigation, led by Robert S. Mueller III, because, as he puts it, he was No. 2 “on the guy’s kill list for years.”

So it was little surprise that the fractious book tour for “Triggered” courted the same kind of controversy that the president can regularly gin up with one errant tweet. The book launch left in its wake a trail of far-right protesters, angry television hosts, and even squabbles at Costco — otherwise known as the happiest place to buy bulk toilet paper on earth.

Basically, things went according to plan.

With his father — whom he refers to throughout the book simply as “DJT” — fighting impeachment down the street, Mr. Trump, a valuable Republican surrogate and Trump rally fixture, has used his new platform as an author to try to reframe the story of the 2016 election, the special counsel investigation, and all of the battles that came after.

Still, the president’s son had help getting his message out and it came in the form of Trump campaign and Republican National Committee resources. On social media, the Trump campaign has helped share his interview clips, including a contentious appearance last week on “The View” that featured Mr. Trump sparring alongside his girlfriend, the former Fox News host and current campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle.

That conversation quickly devolved into a cross-talk-laden argument over the particulars of a July call between the president and Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, which forms the basis of the inquiry. A key question is whether the president withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for a promise by Mr. Zelensky to investigate a chief political opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“No one knew any aid was even being withheld,” Mr. Trump said on the program, which conflicts with accounts given to congressional investigators that the Ukranians were aware of the situation by early August.

“But that’s not true,” the co-host Sunny Hostin interjected. “That’s a lie.”

Throughout that appearance, conservative personalities affiliated with the campaign were quick to edit video clips and blast out triumphant tweets in support of the couple — a forceful showing for an interview ostensibly about the book. On Twitter, Mr. Trump crowed that his appearance had shattered recent ratings records for the program.

As a first-time author, Mr. Trump has had promotional help in other key areas: The Republican National Committee messaged its email list, asking supporters to chip in several dollar amounts — ranging from $50 to $250 — to support the book. (One subject line: “The left doesn’t want you to read this book.”)

Mike Reed, a spokesman for the committee, wrote in an email that the organization had supported books by noncandidates before, including Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker.

“Using books as a means to fund-raise is standard practice from political parties on both sides of the aisle,” Mr. Reed said, pointing out that several Democratic campaigns have done the same. “‘Triggered’ has been very popular among our supporters, helping us raise funds to support the re-election effort.”

President Trump has also weighed in, saying on Twitter last weekend that he had finished his son’s book, and that the younger Trump, “along with many of us, was very unfairly treated.” People close to him say that president is not much of a reader, but he does follow the television coverage of the books he promotes, paying attention to how well they do.

“Triggered” is hovering around No. 4 on the ever-fluctuating Amazon best-seller list, sandwiched between Nikki Haley’s “With All Due Respect” and a children’s book written by the Bush sisters.

Marji Ross, the president of the conservative Regnery Publishing, which is not associated with Mr. Trump’s book, said in an email that the 24-hour news cycle associated with the Trump era has led to an increased appetite for political titles.

“I think it’s very healthy for citizens to want to know more about the issues and events shaping our world,” Ms. Ross said, “if only to get a better idea for how the other half of the country thinks.”

“Triggered,” at the very least, is a glimpse into how one prominent family thinks. It was written before the impeachment began, but the anger present in Mr. Trump’s writing seems to be a one-emotion-fits-all reaction to the political hardships he believes he and his family has endured. The chapters have names like “COUNTERPUNCH” and “CLASS WARFARE,” and the book is dedicated to the “DEPLORABLES.”

Throughout the book, Mr. Trump tries to reinforce the point that he and his family members are rich but relatable. He relays several life lessons his father has taught him: You shouldn’t expect to get anything in life you don’t work for. If you don’t ask for it, don’t expect it. And when someone goes around offering things for free, don’t believe them.

“In most cases,” Mr. Trump writes, “that person is either a liar or an idiot. Or a leftist, which means they’re both.”

The book was designed to anger liberals, but “Triggered” has angered groups that his family has spent a significant amount of time courting. In one passage, he compares watching his father visit Arlington National Cemetery to the political sacrifices his family has made, which drew a rebuke from veterans associations.

And a stop at U.C.L.A. in California over the weekend, Mr. Trump and Ms. Guilfoyle left the stage at a book event after a group of far-right protesters, dismayed at the lack of opportunity to ask questions, began chanting.

As Mr. Trump stood by, Ms. Guilfoyle chided the group: “You’re not making your parents proud by being rude and disruptive and discourteous,” before adding, “I bet you engage and go on online dating because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.”

The event on Tuesday at the Trump International Hotel had no such hint of protest: The property was swarmed by Secret Service agents, and each supporter passed their belongings through a metal detector.

When asked what his father liked most about the book, Mr. Trump demurred, telling a reporter he had more supporters to greet.

Alexandra Alter contributed reporting.

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