Donald Trump Jr. Asserts Skin Lotion Lockup Means Hush Money Trial Is Wrong

Donald Trump Jr. is a frequent presence on Fox News, where MAGA adherent Maria Bartiromo generally nods in assent to claims he makes, rarely challenging an assertion. Trump Jr.’s job with this father’s campaign at present is to portray New York City as a lawless chaos of criminality, so that the idea of a place coming undone in the face of rampant crime makes the city’s pursuit of his father, former President Donald Trump, on hush money charges seem like a dereliction of duty by law enforcement.

The idea is that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg should be focused “real” criminals who are causing this chaos, rather than going after Donald Trump. In addition, Trump Jr. contends that the hush money trial itself is costing taxpayers more than the $130,000 hush money at issue, looking at the pursuit of justice through a purely transactional lens to conclude it’s not worth the cost.

[NOTE: Trump Jr.’s narrative contradicts NYPD data, which report that “New York City saw continued reductions in overall crime through the first quarter of 2024, both above ground, on streets throughout the five boroughs, and below ground, within the nation’s largest subway system. The single month of March 2024, compared to the same month last year, experienced even more drastic crime decline.”]

Trump Jr. continues to use the example of products locked up in drugstores to illustrate how he believes crime allegedly impinges on the freedom of shoppers. Trump asserts that crime is so bad in New York that he can’t find common items at the local drugstore that aren’t under lock and key — because retailers fear shoplifting losses.

Trump Jr. has claimed for years that his drugstore shopping in New York has been impeded by this restriction. Below are three instances of Trump Jr. saying he can’t get what he wants at the drugstore because of crime.

On Fox he tells Bartiromo that the skin cream is locked up.

Eric Trump: All while in New York you can’t go into Duane Reade, you can’t go into CVS and buy skin lotion because it has to be locked behind plexiglass

— Acyn (@Acyn) April 28, 2024

On Newsmax, Trump Jr. can’t get Advil.

Eric Trump: I went to Duane Reade the other day. And literally you can’t buy Advil in Duane Reade without having someone come up with a key and unlock the little plastic thing

— Acyn (@Acyn) April 1, 2023

Back to Fox for his inability to pull some Tylenol from the shelves.

Eric Trump: I went into literally CVS yesterday and you can’t buy Tylenol because it’s locked behind these glass counters… but yet their attention is going after Donald Trump

— Acyn (@Acyn) March 31, 2023

It’s true that many retailers have opted to make products accessible to shoppers only through store employees, meaning assistance is needed at the store to put toothpaste into one’s shopping basket. Also true: Combatting shoplifting and combatting white collar crime are both priorities for New York and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

In May 2023, DA Bragg said, “Retail theft has increased city-wide and nation-wide since the pandemic, and we must continue to work together to drive down shoplifting. However, there is encouraging news – for the first time since the pandemic, retail theft has begun to decline in Manhattan. Year to date, petit larcenies are down 8 percent and robberies are down 5 percent, and comparing the first quarter of 2023 to 2022, retail theft complaints are down 11 percent.” 

[NOTE: For years certain cold medicines, though not regular Tylenol, have been behind lock and key across the country because they are used as ingredients in methamphetamine manufacturing. Medicines containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine were restricted from shelf access by a federal crackdown in 2006. Theft of these items plummeted, suggesting that more items might be treated with restrictions.]

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