President Trump’s old office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan sits unoccupied now, unofficial storage space for the gathering trove of memorabilia that his two oldest sons say they hope will eventually be turned over to their father’s presidential library.
But just one flight down, in Eric and Donald Trump Jr.’s cramped offices, their father is ever-present — in the seven copies of a recent issue of Golf Digest with his photo and the headline “Golfer-in-Chief” on the cover stacked on Eric’s desk; in his visage looping endlessly on CNN (yes, they watch CNN); in the cardboard cutout of the president watching from behind a stash of blueprints in the corner.
This is the conundrum facing the two brothers as they assume control of the empire their father built: How do they move forward, and navigate the ethical shoals, at a business predicated entirely on the brand of the man they have vowed to distance themselves from?
“His DNA will always be in the company in a big way,” Eric said, during nearly five hours of interviews over two days last week at Trump Tower. “His DNA built the company. His DNA also built us. We’re extensions of him in so many ways.”