I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into this report from Business Insider, which relies heavily on anonymous sources to both play up and downplay the prospects of Donald Trump, Jr. taking over as executive vice president of the NRA from Wayne LaPierre. According to the website, Team Trump is “looking for a franchise for Trump, Jr.” and the gun rights organization is of interest given Don Junior’s interest in hunting and the Second Amendment.
Other anonymous sources, though, claim that Junior’s not interested in running the NRA, as The Blaze’s Chris Pandolfo points out.
However, another Republican source told BI that Trump Jr. was not interested in involving himself with the NRA as the organization in recent years has been plagued by infighting. Current and former NRA executives have been accused of using money donated to the non-profit group to enrich themselves and the NRA is under investigation by the New York attorney general’s office.
“Don is just not getting involved in that pissing match,” the source said.
Even if Trump Jr. indeed wants the job, NRA leadership is selected by the organization’s board, which according to one of the Republicans who spoke to BI is currently filled with people loyal to LaPierre.
It’s clear at this point that LaPierre will be running the NRA for as long as he wants, or at least until he chooses to leave. There’s little chance that the NRA’s board would force LaPierre out in favor of Donald Trump, Jr. or anyone else given the current makeup of the board of directors, and I would expect that when LaPierre does decide it’s time to step away he’ll be heavily involved in selecting his replacement.
Could Wayne LaPierre give the nod to Donald Trump, Jr? Anything is possible, but I don’t think it would be the right move. For better or worse, Team Trump is ultimately about the Trump brand and family, while the NRA should be laser-focused on the right to keep and bear arms. Trump, Jr. would certainly be a high-profile pick to run the organization when LaPierre decides to leave, but would come with a lot of baggage as well, including a potential pardon by Papa Trump.
For a number of reasons, then, I’m not putting much stock in the BI report, but if Don Junior is seriously interested in a “franchise” to keep his name out there over the next couple of years, why not start a gun company or buy out a smaller manufacturer?
A Trump-branded gun company (maybe Trump Armory or Trump Tactical?) would begin operations with a sizable base of support and interest, and Junior could use his position as CEO to rail against the anti-gun actions that are sure to come over the next four years of a Biden/Harris administration. It wouldn’t be as high profile a position as running the NRA, but Donald Trump, Jr. would still be in a position to generate headlines for himself and his family while bolstering his Second Amendment bona fides. Can you imagine the press attention when the first MAGA-15s start rolling off the assembly line, or when Trump-branded 20-round “MAGA-zines” are offered for sale?
There would be a yuge response from the media, both on the Left and on the Right, and Junior would quickly become one of the most visible and identifiable gun makers in the country, assuring him a platform to publicly expound on his views while developing his own brand. If Donald Trump, Jr. really is pondering what to do in the next chapter of his life, a Trump gun company should be on the table.