In making the case Thursday for an all-out government war on the nation’s opioid addiction crisis, President Donald Trump cited the example of his older brother Fred – who died after a lengthy battle with alcoholism.
Fred, who died at age 43 in 1981, was a ‘great guy’ with the ‘best personality, much better than mine’ – the ‘best-looking guy.’
‘But he had a problem,’ the president said somberly. “He had a problem with alcohol.’
Fred, he said, often told him not to start drinking or smoking, ‘and to this day I’ve never had a drink, and I have no longing for it. I have no interest in it. To this day, I’ve never had a cigarette.’
President Donald Trump cited his late older brother on Thursday during a White House event about opiate abuse – saying he is the reason he’s never had cigarettes or alcohol
The five Trump children are pictured including the future president (left) and the eldest boy Freddy, who drank himself to death in the 1980s
The president looked up to his older brother, who ‘had a very, very, very tough life because of alcohol,’ he said. ‘Believe me. Very, very tough, tough life.’
‘He was a strong guy, but it was a tough, tough thing that he was going through. But I learned because of Fred. I learned. And that’s what I think is so important.’
Then-candidate-Trump talked with DailyMail.com about Fred in May 2015 during an interview aboard his private Boeing 757 jet, saying that his older brother ‘was the greatest guy I knew, and I knew a lot of great guys.’
‘But it just broke my heart the way he died. It was ridiculous, if you think about it. He had so much in front of him. So much.’
‘This is why I don’t drink, ever. I just don’t do it,’ Trump said quietly, without a hint of bravado. ‘Fred told me not to, and I saw what happened to him when he didn’t follow his own advice.’
Fred and Mary Anne Trump had five children, (pictured) though their second Fred Jr. died yong following a life blighted by alcoholism
‘If I could snap my fingers and change one thing about the world,’ he said, ‘it would be making addiction just go away. Nobody deserves that; it’s hell.’
‘Freddy,’ as the president called him, was an airline pilot with a gift for aping W. C. Fields, according to a 2016 New York Times article.
But as the heir-apparent to the Trump real estate fortune, Freddy fell short of Donald’s exacting expectations.
And by his 30s drinking began to make his life unmanageable.
His wife divorced him. His flying career came to an abrupt end because he couldn’t fly drunk. And The New York Times reported that he tried by failed to make a career of commercial fishing in Florida.
Freddy ended up living with his parents, working on a maintenance crews that maintained one of the family’s apartment buildings.
Freddy’s dad Fred – the president’s father, too – reacted by writing Freddy’s children out of his will. Donald Trump reportedly helped write the final draft.
It specifically exempted ‘my son Fred C. Trump Jr.’ from receiving any of his millions. At the time he attributed the enmity to Freddy’s wife Linda.
Freddy’s failure in the real estate game may have contributed to his fall from grace in the family, although the president told the Times last year that ‘I hope not.’
But Freddy ultimately decided to be a pilot, not an urban property magnate.
That blew apart Donald’s image of him as a trailblazer and source of bravado.