Trump's daughter-in-law to rivals: Wait until 2024, you won't beat him

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Lara Trump is at the forefront of the push to get Donald Trump another four years in the Oval Office.

The president’s daughter-in-law is now senior adviser to the 2020 re-election campaign and she’s feeling confident about his chances.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News at Trump Tower in New York, she dismissed the prospects of a long line of Democratic challengers.

Her message to competitors is: save your cash.

Lara Trump spoke exclusively to Sky News
Full interview with Lara Trump

She said: “Honestly, I am not worried about anybody that has gotten into the race and I really do believe that Donald Trump is going to win by more in 2020 than he did in 2016.

“I think the reality is it will be so stupid for people to spend their money, to waste their money and time and effort right now, to try and run against him.

“I actually don’t understand why there are so many people that have gotten in the race on the Democrat side. I always want to tell them – wait until 2024. Wait till he’s out. You’re not going to beat Donald Trump.

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“I have not seen anyone that makes me nervous as someone who works for his campaign and as a family member.”

Donald Trump's daughter-in-law is now a senior adviser to his re-election campaign
Image: Donald Trump's daughter-in-law is now a senior adviser to his re-election campaign

Despite talk of a progressive wave of people committed to changing the policy landscape of the left in America, Mrs Trump showed little fear of America “feeling the Bern” of self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders again.

She said: “Some of the policies he wants to implement would cause us to move in a direction like Venezuela and that is very scary to people.

“This country was not founded run that way, to operate that way.

“It is supposed to be a free market capitalism-driven country. And when you talk about implementing something like socialism I think it scares a lot of people and I think it’s going to encourage a lot of people to get out and vote against something like that.”

Robert Mueller’s investigation, she said, is also a major turn-off with voters.

“The Russia investigation is the biggest waste of time and taxpayer money that has possibly ever happened in this country,” she said.

Democrats, however, are not letting up and are expanding their own lines of inquiry.

‘Trump is a racist, a conman and a cheat’

Lara’s husband Eric, Mr Trump’s son, is one of 81 people and organisations that have received letters from the House Judiciary Committee requesting documents in a wide-ranging probe into alleged abuses of power.

The investigations into possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow have affected some of the president’s closest relationships.

Michael Cohen, who worked alongside Mr Trump for more than a decade, recently called his former friend a “conman and a racist” in a congressional hearing.

Will that stick with voters?

Mrs Trump said: “I don’t worry about that at all.

“Michael Cohen was part of the Trump organisation and worked with the president for 15 years and now all of a sudden he decided he’s a racist.

“And you know why? It’s because it’s a convenient thing for him to say. He thinks it’s going to lessen his prison time. And he’s probably also looking for a book deal down the line.”

She added: “It’s a very easy thing to call somebody a racist. But you ask the people that have known Donald Trump his whole life, you ask the people that are close to him, they will tell you that is not true.”

She also baulks at those who try to connect Paul Manafort’s recent sentence with the president. The former Trump campaign chair was given 47 months in prison last week for bank and tax fraud.

“Paul Manafort is going to prison for nothing that has to do with Donald Trump,” she said.

“It always comes up and people are interested in Paul Manafort because he worked for the Trump campaign for a couple of months as the campaign manager.

“Unfortunately for him and his previous business dealings, he did things illegally.

“He did things the improper way. That’s why he’s going to prison.”

Lara Trump has been an effective and popular ambassador for her father-in-law on the campaign trail and in office.

President Donald Trump hugs the American flag as he arrives to speak at Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2019, in Oxon Hill, Md., Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Image: Donald Trump hugs the American flag at a conference in Maryland

The former TV producer presents his “Real News Updates”, as well as regularly attending events across the country.

The day before the Sky News interview, the avid athlete had competed in another triathlon in Florida.

She regularly took to the stump while heavily pregnant and is now mother to 18-month-old Luke.

She is convinced women voters will be a critical – if silent – force for the president.

“People always say Donald Trump has a problem with women,” she said. “I don’t think that’s the case.

“I can’t tell you the number of women that come up to me on a daily basis even here in New York and are so excited about our president, are so thankful that he decided to run and that he’s doing the things that he said he was going to do.

“And the reality is people are made to feel like they can’t talk about it.

“Especially women, I think. They’re not talking to their friends about it, they’re not posting on social media.

“They’re really not going to talk to a pollster and give them an honest answer about supporting Donald Trump because now there’s a stigma that comes with that.”

Donald Trump
Trump: ‘Kim is quite a guy’

She also provided some intriguing titbits about Mr Trump outside the White House, casting a portrait of a generous and witty man.

Asked if she’d ever seen him cry, she said, with a wry smile: “Well, I’ve never seen him cry, but listen, he gets this reputation as being a bold brash guy.

“And he certainly is that at the right times, but when he’s with family he loves being with family. He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. And he truly loves his grandkids so much.

“All he wants to do whenever I see him, the first thing is, he asks me about my son.

“There are stories about him pulling over on the side of the road in New Jersey to help somebody who had broken down, giving people rides places when he didn’t need to, paying off a mortgage on somebody’s house that worked for him because he heard that they were struggling financially.”

She was surprisingly candid about what he might perceive as his biggest failure: “I think he would say maybe his most disappointing thing that’s happened has been the personnel.

“You know, there are so many people that you think are loyal to this country and support you and have your back and then you turn around and you see what’s happened with Michael Cohen and with people like Omarosa [Manigault] – many of these people who were clearly out for themselves and are really looking to make a quick buck.”

There is nothing new about family members being involved in presidential affairs but much has been made of the role and influence of Donald Trump’s relatives.

Mrs Trump says there is no reason to limit what family can do.

“I think if you have someone like Jared and Ivanka who are incredibly smart people who are doing things that are very supportive of this president and the agenda that he has for the country, they’re not doing things for themselves or doing things for him.

“I don’t think that there should be any issue with having a family member there. In fact sometimes a family member is the only person you know you can really trust and turn to at certain times.”

Donald Trump
Image: Donald Trump is 'one of the funniest people' Lara Trump has ever met

The 36-year-old says she was raised in a middle-class family in North Carolina with no expectations of the family she’d become a part of.

She described it as an “honour,” but also conceded that you “have to take a few slings and arrows for the betterment of the country”.

Asked if she thinks Melania Trump, who has been critical of press coverage of her, feels victimised, she responded: “That would be a stretch.

“She’s an incredibly strong woman. She’s an incredibly smart woman. She might be smarter than all of us because she actually stays out of the media spotlight as much as she possibly can.

“I think she feels frustrated like the rest of us you know no matter what you do, no matter what you wear, you’re going to be criticised.

“Remember she wore heels one time to get on the aeroplane? All anybody talked about were her shoes.

“I mean, my goodness there are so many other things to talk about when it comes to Melania Trump than her shoes.

“She speaks five languages.”

In 2016, the Trump family played a central role on the campaign trail. Four years on, Lara Trump will be at the forefront of messaging and meeting voters.

She has a warm, engaging and energetic demeanour.

Despite her wealth, she says she can relate to the “forgotten men and women” who helped elect her father-in-law.

We will have to wait and see if they too have kept the faith.

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