A 100-year-old World War II Navy veteran became a viral sensation overnight after a video showed a pair of Trump supporters carrying him to his seat before the president’s rally in Phoenix on Wednesday.
The video — which was posted to Twitter — showed two men, one donning a Trump hat, carrying the vet, 100-year-old Ervin Julian, down a flight of stairs at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The crowd could be heard chanting “USA! USA!” in the background. The video has now been viewed more than 5 million times.
In an interview Friday on “Fox & Friends” with host Steve Doocy, Ervin Julian’s son Steven — who revealed he had previously worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign — said that he just wanted to do something special for his father.
“So, I was going to go after I got the credentials to get VIP seating, and that’s…where it all started,” he told Doocy.
One of the men pictured carrying Julian, Army veteran Larry Thorpe, told Doocy that he and his friend Jason Frank attended the rally to show their support for the president, but “had no idea” their act of kindness would be viewed by millions around the world.
“So, we were there to support the president and everything that he is doing for this country. President Trump has just done an amazing job at working towards helping to build this economy and move the country forward,” he remarked, explaining that he and his friend were on their way to the snack stand when they encountered the elderly veteran.
“And when we got to the top of the stairs, Ervin was coming in, and he kind of tripped into me a little bit,” Thorpe recalled. “And he had a crowd all around him, and Jason and I just wanted to help him to his seat.”
President Trump later recognized Julian at the rally saying, “He might be even hotter than Trump right now, I have to say.”
“I want to thank you, really, that’s a great honor and thank you for the great job you’ve done, an American patriot, thank you very much,” he continued.
“That was unbelievable,” Steven Julian said. “That’s a big compliment coming from the president of the United States to my father.”
Trump’s rally in Phoenix marked the first of three consecutive rallies this week. The president also appeared in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Thursday and will hold another rally in Las Vegas Friday night.