By now, the public is well aware of elder First Son Donald Trump Jr.’s passion for CrossFit and for killing living things, but significantly less is known about what drives the president’s second oldest son, Eric Trump. We know he has more of a hand in the family business than his aggressively online brother does, though Eric by no means shies away from campaigning for his father, and we also know he has a passion for wine. That’s about it.
Or is it? Reader, please meet YouTube user Skibum845. (Update, Jul. 27, 1:11 p.m.: At some point after this post went up, the account was deleted entirely. You can find screenshots of the original playlist here and here.)
Now, there are a number of skibum845’s spread across the internet. There is, for instance, a skibum845 on Pinterest who lists his name as “Eric T.” There is also a skibum845 on the Trapshooters.com forum. And while this particular trapshooting skibum845 doesn’t list a name, his profile does proudly display his birthday as Jan. 6, 1984, the same day Eric Trump entered the world.
Photobucket, too, hosts a (now private) page belonging to a skibum845, who identifies only as “E. Smith.” In October of 2016, however, that same user went by a different name: Eric Trump.
The photos on that page centered largely around guns and skibum845’s attempts to restore and modify an old Camaro. One of the photos, which is still available here, depicts a garage with a few wall hangings:
Look closely, and you’ll notice a framed photograph of the 1985 New Jersey Generals.
The New Jersey Generals, for those who don’t know, were a team in the short-lived United States Football League that was bought by Donald Trump, who proceeded to run the team into the ground along with the USFL as a whole.
Look even more closely, and you’ll notice this admittedly skillful drawing:
While the skibum845’s photos are no longer viewable on his landing page, he is still able to share links to public versions of individual photos. And as it just so happens, a forum user on PracticalMachinist.com who goes by ETRem1 (and who, according to several amateur machinists, appears to be decently skilled) shared photos of his work that link directly back to skibum845’s Photobucket account. ETRem1 is based in New York and, judging by his posts, seems particularly interested in old milling machine and lathe restoration—the very same machines that captivate none other than YouTube user Skibum845.
All of which is to say, welcome to what is almost certainly Eric Trump’s YouTube page.
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Up until this afternoon, typing www.youtube.com/user/skibum845 into your browser’s address bar would bring you to the user page of, as the url would suggest, Skibum845.
This account appeared to have set the user’s “likes” to private, and the subscriptions were again, mostly gun stuff. There was however, a nearly 200-video-long playlist that was updated as recently as Tuesday. This playlist was dubbed simply, “Eric.”
Go to that same link now, however, and you’ll instead find a bright red message telling you that the playlist does not exist. As you can see in this version saved to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine from earlier Friday, this was not always the case.
In the course of writing this post, I reached out to the Trump Organization for confirmation that the account belonged to Eric Trump. While I have not received a direct response, shortly after I’d attempted contact, the display name on the account was changed from “Eric” to “Pine Hill,” and the playlist disappeared. All the account’s subscriptions, however, remained the same.
A quick Google search reveals that Pine Hill, New Jersey, is the location of the Trump National Golf Club, Philadelphia. It would seem that the Trump family op-sec remains wanting.
The vast majority of content on the playlist formerly known as “Eric” consisted of lathe and mill restoration as well as general machining, including a number of videos featuring Remington rifles (hello ETRem1). I cannot emphasize enough how many of these videos there were, nor how long; “Arc Welding for Beginners,” for instance, has a runtime of just over 45 minutes.
In between the various machine and gun videos, though, was a rare look at the artistic soul of the relatively quieter of Trump’s two adult sons, such as Eric’s apparent appreciation for covers of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Skibum845’s playlist contained no less than three.
Less surprising, perhaps, was his appreciation for this, which appears to have earned its place on “Eric” somewhat recently.
There was some standard Trump fare, too. A GOP ad attacking Michael Cohen and Robert Mueller’s initial statement on the Russia investigation also made the cut, in addition to a video that seems to incorrectly frame a speech by Michael Moore as being pro-Trump.
One video that initially seemed to be for the benefit of his young child was, upon further inspection, actually a song from the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall being performed on a 2009 episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Spend some time scrolling through the extensive collection of videos with titles such as “Threading on a manual lathe BEST TECHNIQUE EVER !!!!” and “RETRO FITTING A BRIDGEPORT MILL WITH A ONE SHOT LUBE,” and you might begin to feel a creeping sense of melancholy. I certainly did. This had the effect of making videos like “Ice Cube & The Notorious B.I.G. - Hello VS. Party & Bullshit (Matoma Remix) LYRICS” all the more jarring.
Hit play on the track above. Now, imagine Eric Trump sitting there in Trump Tower, silent and dead-eyed as the song plays. Headphones on, fingerprint-smudged brass all around him in a dark room lit only by his screen. He knows a miter saw video is coming soon. He smiles. All of it, just devastating.
In fairness, though, Skibum845 is not merely a passive observer. He has actively participated in the YouTube community on at least two occasions that I could find. The first, posted six months ago, was a comment on a video titled “BRIDGEPORT knee mill restoration.”
The second interaction occurred several months later in a comment on the video “First cuts on new 70 year old 16” South Bend Lathe.”
At the time of publication, the color of the paint remains unknown.
I will leave you now with entry No. 27 on YouTube playlist “Eric.”
We reached out to the Trump Organization for confirmation on the identity of Skibum845 and will update if and when we hear back. But in the meantime, if you have any information at all about the undisclosed paint, please do get in touch.