Donald Trump Jr. is receiving some heavy criticism for a tone-deaf remark about India's poorest residents during his visit to the country to promote new Trump Towers.
President Trump’s eldest son said Tuesday in an interview with India's CNBC affiliate, “the spirit of the Indian people” was unique to “other parts of the emerging world.”
“You can see the poorest of the poor and there is still a smile on a face,” he said. He did preface his remark with saying he didn't mean to sound glib.
“I know some of the most successful businessmen in the world, and some of them are the most miserable people in the world,” he said.
Some people on Twitter were not happy with the remarks.
The younger Trump arrived in India on Monday and will be a keynote speaker with Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this week, raising concerns about mixing his father's family business interests with U.S. foreign policy.
He said that any talk of his family profiting from his father’s presidency is “nonsense.”
He told Indian television channel CNBC-TV18 that when critics talk about the Trump Organization “profiteering from the presidency and all this nonsense” they forget about “the opportunity cost of the deals that we were not able to do,” the Associated Press reported.
“It’s sort of a shame. Because we put on all these impositions on ourselves and essentially got no credit for actually doing that … for doing the right thing,” he added.
Trump Jr.'s week-long visit also includes meetings and dinners with investors, businessmen and prospective buyers who have shown interest in the four Trump Tower projects under construction in the cities of Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata.
The largest Trump tower project is in Gurugram — a fast-growing city just outside of New Delhi — where 254 condos are for sale. The amenities and services listed on the official website include a Trump Club — “your personal utopia in your own backyard” — and waking up to “radiant morning sunrays that are pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling glass.”
An apartment in the Trump Towers complex in Gurgaon runs between $775,000 and $1.5 million, according to the AP.
India has emerged as the Trump Organization's biggest international market. Yet, the U.S. president has taken hard stands recently against two of India's enemies — China (to pressure North Korea) and Pakistan (over harboring terrorists).