President Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump, recently pushed back against critics of his father who say he's guilty of giving special preference to his children and may be in violation of federal anti-nepotism laws.
In an interview with Forbes published April 4, Eric -- who, along with his brother, Donald Trump Jr., now manages his father's business empire -- described nepotism as "kind of a factor of life."
"We might be here because of nepotism, but we’re not still here because of nepotism," he said. "You know, if we didn’t do a good job, if we weren’t competent, believe me, we wouldn’t be in this spot."
According to Eric, his father is no less demanding when it comes to his kids.
"He’s a guy, no matter where it is, he expects people to perform," he said. "And if they’re not performing, he kind of encourages them to go on their way. You know ... Don, Ivanka and I never let him down really in any factor of life. And I think it’s one of the reasons that we’re as innately close as we are."
The president came under fire recently after it was reported that his daughter, Ivanka, was taking an unpaid job in the White House. She now serves as an assistant to the president. The controversial move came months after Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner, was given an unpaid senior advisory position in the administration.
Both appointments raised eyebrows, with a number of critics suggesting that Trump was violating anti-nepotism laws.
But the president appears to be taking advantage of a loophole stating that any appointee found to be in violation of the law is simply "not entitled to pay," according to CNN. In other words, they can continue working as a government employee as long as they don't receive a paycheck.
In a recent interview with "CBS This Morning," Ivanka responded to accusations that, as a government employee, she was now "complicit" in her father's divisive policies, including his controversial travel ban and his hardline stance on immigration.
"If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit," Ivanka said, according to ThinkProgress. "You asked me about people who criticize me for not taking to social media on every single issue, and I would ask them if that would render me more effective or less effective with the people ultimately making decisions … I think most of the impact I have, over time, most people will not actually know about."
On the broader topic of favoritism in business and politics, nepotism expert Robert Jones told Forbes that the beneficiaries of nepotism are oftentimes unaware of the role privilege plays in their success.
"For most of us who have been given privilege, to some extent we don’t even know it," he said. "I mean, we’re just not even aware of the opportunities we’re given. And it kind of dawns on us over time if we’ve got our eyes open and are looking for it."