Trump doesn’t think Jr is the ‘smartest’ of his children — but Trump family biographer cautions that ‘idiot is a strong word'
Donald Trump, Jr., Melania Trump, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump

The question of the relative intelligence of President Donald Trump's adult children was a topic of conversation on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House" with Nicolle Wallace on Thursday.

During his public testimony on Wednesday, longtime Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen testified under oath that Donald Trump, Jr. had awful judgement, demonstrated by his setting up the notorious 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives.

"What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world," Cohen testified. "And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father."

For analysis, Wallace turned to Vanity Fair senior reporter Emily Jane Fox, who authored the 2018 book Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family.

"I heard from sources close to the president that he thought Donald Trump, Jr. was an idiot," Wallace noted.

"Idiot is a strong word, but I will say, in my reporting, it is not my understanding the president thinks Don Jr. is his smartest child," Fox replied. "That's how I understand how he thinks of Don, Jr."

In conventional wisdom -- or at least on "Saturday Night Live" -- Eric Trump has been mocked as the dumbest of Trump's adult children.

After Wallace mentioned Ivanka Trump, Fox said, "Eric is pretty competent and capable, too."

"He is the guy who looks out for his father, who kind of keeps his head down and actually does the work, when you think about who's out publicly doing interviews and on the campaign trail and currently in the White House, there are people who are in it for show, there are people who are in it for their own ambition, and then there's one son who's just back at home doing the work," Fox concluded.