Rather than deny the $1.7M in tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and its CFO, Executive VP Eric Trump shrugged them off as no big deal. There to help with the fraud about the fraud was Fox host Raymond Arroyo.
Trump and host Raymond Arroyo sang from the same victims' playbook his wife, Lara Trump, and her host, Dan Bongino used. Hubby Eric almost repeated Lara word-for-word.
Arroyo opened the discussion as Bongino did, by dishonestly suggesting that the Trump Organization’s accounting practices, which helped CFO Allen Weisselberg evade hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes was little more than gifting him with the use of a company car.
ARROYO: Joining us now is Eric Trump, Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization. Eric, thanks for being here. The prosecutors claim that your CFO evaded taxes on $1.7 million worth of income. We're talking here about the use of a company car, possible tuition payments for his grandchildren. How concerned are you tonight as vice president of this organization?
FACT CHECK: The charges were a lot more than a company car and tuition. From The New York Times:
Mr. Weisselberg is also accused of receiving free rent, cars for both him and his wife, and private school tuition for relatives. The company helped Mr. Weisselberg falsely claim he lived outside New York City, easing his tax burden, the indictment said.
And it said that Mr. Weisselberg and other executives were paid bonuses through Trump properties including the Mar-a-Lago Club, and that income was then reported as if they were contractors rather than regular employees. That allowed Mr. Weisselberg to make contributions to a type of tax-deferred pension plan that is available for self-employed people, the indictment said, enabling him to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars that he should not have.
The Trump Organization also kept two sets of books.
Arroyo, a devout Catholic who claims to be “known for his penetrating interviews,” clearly saw his mission as helping Eric Trump distort the facts. Eric Trump soon got to the same “company car” BS his wife and the two hosts had touted.
TRUMP: They subpoenaed 3.5 million documents. They've gone through every single tax record that my father has had since 2005. And this is what they have. They have a company car, they have employment perks. Give me a break. They have been on a witch hunt.
Also like his wife, Eric Trump had the “they’re out to get Donald Trump” victimhood down:
TRUMP: The New York Attorney General Letitia James, she has been going after my father. She swore to get him, she swore to try and take him down, and it's disgusting. The manpower that they have put on this is--
Like Lara Trump, Eric Trump did not deny any of the substance of the charges. In fact, he all but admitted them.
Instead of pressing for more information, “penetrating interviewer” Arroyo helped advance the victimhood by playing a clip of New York Attorney General Letitia James campaigning, as Arroyo put it, “on a platform of putting your father, the former president behind bars."
After the clip, Eric Trump segued to another of his wife’s talking points: New York should be fighting other crime – and what about Hunter Biden?
TRUMP: Well, Raymond, this is what we've been dealing with. I mean, this is what we as a family deal with every single day, and it's horrible. I mean, you have a little girl that got shot in Times Square two weeks ago, you had a marine that got shot in Times Square literally two days ago. Crime is rampant.
People are leaving the city in record numbers. It's dirty. It's disgusting. New York is no longer what it is. And they have an entire district attorney office and Attorney General's office that's focused on $3.5 million to take down a political opponent? I mean, this is what they do. This is New York State for you. This is worse than a banana republic. It's truly horrible. It's truly horrible. And, Raymond, you know this better than anybody.
They're afraid that my father is going to run in 2024, and they're afraid that he's going to win. So they don't look at corrupt Hunter Biden, they don't look at the fact that he's taking money from China, and the Ukraine and other countries and he is selling his finger paintings for $500,000 to undisclosed people. No, they don't care about any of that. They care about going after innocent, great human beings. Allen Weisselberg is one of them. And taking out Donald Trump and going after a political opponent.
We've got real problems in this country, Raymond. And a lot of people are missing Donald Trump right now. And I think this is going to backfire them in a big way. People will understand what this is about. This isn't about Allen Weisselberg. This is about a warped Democratic Party who will go after Trump and they have every single day for the last six years. And honestly, I think they're handing him the win in 2024, if he decides to pursue it. I really do. People get this game. We've seen this movie before, Raymond.
“Penetrating interviewer” Arroyo teed up another softball for Trump.
ARROYO: Eric, break this down for me. OK, these charges fall between 2005 and 2017. They claim it's $1.7 million that they're talking about (inaudible) taxes here. That may be overblown in your estimation. Why? Explain.
TRUMP: Yes. Well, these are employment perks. These are a corporate car, which everybody has. I guarantee you, there's people on this network that has corporate cars. I guarantee you, there's people in every company in the country that have corporate vehicles. This is what they're going after. This isn't a criminal matter.
After more Trump deflection and rambling, but still not denying any any of the charges, Arroyo closed the interview. He said, “We'll keep watching the story. Happy July 4th. Thank you for being here. Eric Trump. We will be in touch in the days ahead.”
By the way, these “paying Weisselberg off the books was no big deal” comments may have done more harm than good.
You can watch Trump and Arroyo pretend that $1.7M in tax fraud is just a run-of-the-mill business practice, below, from the July 2, 2021 The Ingraham Angle.