FACT CHECK: Did Donald Trump Jr Say Texas Has A Democratic Governor?
Some journalists and political commentators claimed on Twitter that Donald Trump Jr., the son of former President Donald Trump, said Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is a Democrat.
Don Jr thinks Texas has a Democratic governor https://t.co/k58lUF1rNj
— EricaGrieder (@EricaGrieder) February 19, 2021
Who wants to tell him that the Governor of Texas is a Republican? https://t.co/DkwA6YM7G0
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 19, 2021
The governor of Texas is a Republican https://t.co/REge32sjEt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 19, 2021
Despite unclear syntax and punctuation in his tweet, Trump Jr.’s statement in context with the video is about Democratic governors who did not comply with their own executive orders and, in his opinion, mishandled the coronavirus lockdowns. Trump Jr. does not name Abbott in the tweet or accompanying video.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz recently faced criticism for traveling to Cancun, Mexico, with his family as a severe winter storm left millions of Texans without power. Cruz, who returned to the U.S. the following day, said the trip was “obviously a mistake” and that he “wouldn’t have done it” in hindsight, according to CNN.
Amid the criticism about the trip, Trump Jr. took to Twitter to comment on the situation, saying, “The hypocrisy of those trying to cancel Ted Cruz who have been totally silent on their Democratic Governor’s incompetence is telling. My thoughts on the Cancun Cruz fauxoutrage! #Cruz #CancunGate is fake.”
The hypocrisy of those trying to cancel Ted Cruz who have been totally silent on their Democrat Governor’s incompetence is telling. My thoughts on the Cancún Cruz fauxoutrage! #Cruz #CancunGate is fake. https://t.co/WnYe1onpIK
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 18, 2021
Many social media users, including journalists and political commentators, suggested that Trump Jr. was erroneously referring to Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, as a Democrat. That does not, however, appear to be the case.
The misinterpretation of Trump Jr.’s tweet was reported by Newsweek Feb. 19. In his tweet, which includes a link to a Rumble video, Trump Jr. does not explicitly name Abbott. Nor does he mention the Texas governor by name in the linked video.
Instead, he appears to be referring to Democratic governors in the plural. The description of the Rumble video, which is visible in his tweet, reads, “The left is trying to cancel Cancun Cruz but it’s not his job. Maybe they should focus on their governors!!!”
“Give me a break,” Trump Jr. says in the video. “That they’re spending more time focusing on this than they are, you know, governors just flagrantly disregarding their executive orders, shutting down states, etc. shows you how ridiculous things are.”
While not explicitly stated, Trump Jr. seemed to be referring to governors such as Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom apologized in November for attending a dinner party with people outside his household, a move that occurred as statewide public health guidelines discouraged such activities, according to The Washington Post.
Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake poured water on the claim that Trump Jr. called Abbott a Democrat in a Feb. 19 tweet.
People are dunking on this as if Trump Jr. thinks Texas has a Dem governor, which isn’t what he says.
What was most interesting to me: Trump Jr. twice in this video admits that the vacation was a bad idea — including “quite certainly.”
But the media must be attacked. https://t.co/bSU9ZDOctm
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) February 19, 2021
“People are dunking on this as if Trump Jr. thinks Texas has a Dem governor, which isn’t what he says,” Blake tweeted. “What was most interesting to me: Trump Jr. twice in this video admits that the vacation was a bad idea — including ‘quite certainly.’ But the media must be attacked.”
Andrew Surabian, a spokesperson for Trump Jr., told Check Your Fact in an emailed statement that Trump Jr. was “falsely accused” of saying the governor of Texas is a Democrat.
“Not only does his tweet reference ‘Governor’s’ in the plural, instead of the singular ‘Governor,’ the accompanying video makes clear that he is referencing pro-lockdown Democrat Governors across the country, as he specifically mentions the Governors of both California and New York, but doesn’t mention anything about the Governor of Texas,” Surabian said.