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Eric Trump Praises His Father's LGBT Rights Record as 'Revolutionary'

Eric Trump

Eric Trump believes that his father, presidential nominee Donald Trump, represents a giant leap forward for LGBT rights. On Wednesday, the third-generation businessman spoke with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” an interview in which he argued that his father has pushed the Republican Party to be more inclusive.

“We had a gay man speak at the RNC and my father spent a lot of his time talking about the LGBT community,” Eric Trump said. “That is revolutionary for the Republican Party.”

The younger Trump is referring to Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who infamously funded the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker in retaliation for outing him in 2007. The Silicon Valley titan spoke at this year’s Republican National Convention, held at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena in July.

“Of course, every American has a unique identity,” Thiel said. “I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American.”

That declaration made Thiel the first openly gay speaker at the RNC in 16 years.

Eric Trump credited that history-making moment to his father’s influence. “There’s a lot of things that he’s doing very differently,” he said. “There’s a lot of beliefs that he has. I think the Republican Party has almost become an ‘America First Party’ because that’s really his message.”

It’s difficult to say if Thiel’s inclusion was inspired by the GOP nominee, but Trump’s wider LGBT rights record leaves much to be desired.

At the Republican National Convention, the CEO declared his support for the 49 people slain in the June attack on Pulse nightclub, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Trump vowed to “protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

The statement was met with applause, to which Trump appeared shocked.

“I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said,” he responded. “Thank you.”

Despite his vow to be an ally to the LGBT community, Trump has consistently supported repealing the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing marriage equality, citing a confusing analogy about long golf putters. If elected president, Trump has stated that he would “strongly consider” appointing judges that would overturn the decision.

These judges include William Pryor and Diane Sykes, who are allegedly on Trump’s shortlist.

In a 2006 ruling, Sykes argued that “anti-gay groups have a constitutional right to continue receiving government subsidies even if they engage in discrimination,” as ThinkProgress reports. Pryor further likened same-sex intercouse to “polygamy, incest, pedophilia, prostitution, and adultery” in a 2003 brief, according to Lambda Legal.

In his Squawk Box interview, Eric Trump was asked if his father would indeed select Pryor and Sykes. “There’s no question those are the people he’s going to choose,” he said.

If elected president, Trump has also vowed to rescind Obama’s executive orders on his first day in office. That decision would have a detrimental impact on government workers, as the president signed a 2015 order protecting all federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

Watch Eric Trump's interview below.

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