Donald Trump Jr. explained how his father would win the white working-class vote during an interview this week with James Edwards, a white nationalist and conservative radio host.
Trump Jr. is the son of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has consistently come under fire for his racist policy proposals and rhetoric.
"We've built more jobs, union [jobs] and stuff like that, than anyone," Trump Jr. said during Tuesday's interview, referring to his father's construction business.
Edwards initially booked Trump Jr. for his radio show, "The Political Cesspool." He is also known for writing racist and anti-Semitic pieces on his website. Edwards told The Huffington Post earlier this week that he and his colleagues "reject media descriptions of our work as 'white supremacist,' 'pro-slavery' and other such scare words."
A scheduling conflict apparently kept Trump Jr. from appearing on his show, so the host joined Sam Bushman's "Liberty Roundtable" to speak to the GOP front-runner's son. After the interview, Trump Jr. said he hadn't been aware of Edwards' history when he agreed to be a guest on his show.
"I certainly had no idea of James’ background, and if I had I would have refused," Trump Jr. said.
As Edwards questioned Trump Jr., he steered the conversation to issues of race and immigration.
"You're not only going to win with the minorities, but the white working class is going to come out and vote, which is really the base [of the Republican Party]," Edwards said to Trump Jr., who agreed heartily.
"Those traditional jobs, union jobs, you think they're going to vote for Hillary [Clinton]?" Trump Jr. asked. "What have the Democrats done for them? They let in all this illegal immigration, everyone who doesn't belong here. They say, 'Give 'em jobs, give 'em health care, and let them undercut your wages.'"
"Those guys are going to come out for a Republican for the first time," he added.
Trump Jr. and the radio hosts also found common ground in their disdain for the mainstream media.
This isn't just a political campaign, it's a movement. Donald Trump Jr.
"It's so disingenuous at this point. ... It's so phony," Trump Jr. said of how his father has been covered in the press. "But real people are getting it now. That's what's amazing, because this isn't just a political campaign, it's a movement."
The hosts at times seemed to bait Trump Jr. into using phrases that are coded language to white supremacists, and into expressing support for ideas that white nationalists have long championed.
Trump Jr. described how the political elite in both parties have failed to give "a voice to the hard-working Americans who made this country so great." A common talking point for white nationalists is to deny the contributions of immigrants and minority groups in America. Europeans settled America, they argue, and therefore the U.S. should be a white nation.
Democrats "cater more to people here illegally, and countries who would like to see us wiped off the face of the earth," Trump Jr. said.
Trump's campaign initially denied that the candidate's son had done an interview with Edwards. It said later that the radio appearance had been scheduled by a press agency, and that Trump Jr. hadn't known about Edwards' history.
As the campaign worked to distance itself from Bushman and Edwards on Thursday, Bushman responded by threatening to release emails Trump's press agents had sent Edwards, asking for an interview.
"Don't play games with me," Bushman said on his radio show. "We have the emails. We can prove it. And we've even sent the emails to the campaign headquarters, and so they know the truth. But they don't want to tell the truth."
Following the interview, Edwards marveled that it had been easy to secure media credentials from the Trump campaign for a rally last weekend.
Other Republican presidential candidates, Edwards said, have refused to give him an interview.
"Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, none of them even would make any time for us," Edwards said. "Then we asked for credentials at the Trump rally, and we got them right away. Then they reach out to us, and ask, do we have an opportunity to chat? This is interesting, to say the least, about who's who [in the presidential race]."
Trump has repeatedly disavowed the support of notorious white supremacists like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. However, he proposes banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and building a wall along the Mexican border. Both of these ideas are popular with white supremacists, many of whom say it's been 40 years since they've seen a presidential candidate so populist and nativist.
This piece has been updated with information about Bushman's response to the Trump campaign.