Politics

VIDEO: President Trump Opens Up About Brother’s Struggle with Addiction

President Donald Trump opened up about his older brother’s struggle with alcoholism during a Thursday speech in which he called the opioid epidemic a “public health emergency” and a “human tragedy.”

Trump’s brother, Fred Trump Jr., was eight years older than the president and died in 1981 at age 43. In a rare moment of vulnerability, Trump said he learned a great deal from watching how his brother, a former pilot, struggled with alcoholism for years.

“I had a brother Fred — great guy, best-looking guy, best personality, much better than mine,” Trump told the crowd gathered in the East Room of the White House. “But he had a problem, he had a problem with alcohol.”

“And he would tell me, ‘Don’t drink, don’t drink.’ He was substantially older and I listened to him and I respected,” Trump added. “But he would constantly tell me, ‘Don’t drink.’ He would also add, ‘Don’t smoke.’ But he would say it over and over and over again.”

The president thanked his brother for steering him away from alcohol and drugs, noting that “to this day,” he’d “never had a drink” and had “never had a cigarette.”

“But [Fred] really helped me. I had somebody that guided me, and he had a very, very tough life because of alcohol, believe me. Very, very tough, tough life,” Trump said. “He was a strong guy but it was a tough, tough thing that he was going through.”

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Expressing his optimism that “we can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic,” Trump urged the nation to take the lessons he learned from his own brother to heart, saying, “the fact is, if we can teach young people and people generally not to start [taking drugs], it’s really, really easy not to take them.”

Watch the moment of vulnerability in the clip above around the four-minute mark.

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