Simon & Schuster, New York 2016, p. 205 f. ^ Badger, Emily (August 10, 2015). “How Donald Trump abandoned his father's middle-class housing empire for luxury building”.
President Donald Trump participates in a Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the United States Military, at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 26, 2021. Over the course of a lifetime of professional and personal transgressions and failures, channeling lasting, curdled lessons of Norman Vincent Peale and Roy Cohn, Trump has assembled a record of rather remarkable resilience.
His typical level of activity and almost animal energy has at times lent him an air of in susceptibility, every one of his brushes with financial or reputational ruin ending with Trump emerging all but untouched. His current crisis, though, his eviction from the White House now just a month out, is something altogether different and new.
“He’s never been in a situation in which he has lost in a way he can’t escape from,” Mary Trump, his niece and the author of the fiercely critical and bestselling book about him and their family, told me. “We continue to wait for him to accept reality, for him to concede, and that is something he is not capable of doing,” added Bandy Lee, the forensic psychiatrist from Yale who’s spent the last four years trying to warn the world about Trump and the ways in which he’s disordered and dangerous.
The combination of an unprecedented rebuke meeting an uncommonly vulnerable ego has some people wondering if there is a chance that Trump ’s unusual actions suggest something potentially more dire. “And he’s not indestructible,” said Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization executive vice president who was the construction manager for Trump Tower and just wrote a book called Tower of Lies.
“I do think Trump is struggling,” Tony Schwartz, the actual author of The Art of the Deal, told me, “and that this is far and away the toughest time he’s ever had.” “His fragile ego has never been tested to this extent,” Michael Cohen, his former personal attorney and enforcer before he turned on him, told me.
He was mired in a tabloid-catnip marital breakup on account of an affair with the B-movie actress who eventually would become the second of his three wives and the mother of the fourth of his five children. “I would have been looking for the nearest building to jump off of,” Steve Hollenbach, the financial fixer banks made Trump hire, once biographer Tim O’Brien.
“Even if it was the same AP article in every single newspaper, he wanted to see it,” former Trump Casino executive Jack O’Donnell told me. Trump was able to do that, of course, principally due to the sprawling, near-foolproof safety net his father’s wealth allowed.
Lenders in New York and regulators in Atlantic City, too, let him skate, both groups as beholden to him as he was to them. Still, en route to averting comeuppance, he proceeded to weave this self-inflicted calamity into a preferred tale of a certain toughness he possessed.
“Most people would have been in the corner sucking their thumb,” he said to a reporter from The Sunday Times of London. “You learn that you’re either the toughest, meanest piece of shit in the world, or you just crawl into a corner, put your finger in your mouth, and say, ‘I want to go home,’” he told a writer from New York.
But the biggest difference between then and now: Even when Trump was all but broke, even as bankers clawed back some of his “toys,” the “props for the show,” as he once put it in Playboy, they gave him an obscene $450,000-a-month allowance. He got to remain living in the penthouse of the building that he had built, that had made him famous, and that served above all as the preeminent stage for how he wanted to be seen.
President Trump speaks during a ceremony to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holt, in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 3, 2020, in Washington. Earlier this month, the Medal of Freedom ceremony to honor Dan Gable, the fabled Iowa wrestler and coach, seemed precisely the sort of pomp Trump liked the most throughout his single term.
Gable, seeming surprised and still standing in the Oval, looked at the gathered press and held his hands up. “So,” Brian Limeade of Fox asked Trump last weekend in one of the vanishing few interviews the president has consented to since he lost, “would you show up at the inauguration.
“He’ll continue to rage against the results, and he’ll continue to solidify in the minds of millions more Americans that the democratic process was corrupted, and that’s going to have a long-lasting tail that we’ll have to deal with in American politics for many, many years,” said Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security who was Anonymous before he revealed his identity in October. “The probability of something very bad happening is very high, unacceptably high, and the fact that we don’t have guardrails in place, the fact that we are allowing a mentally incapacitated president to continue in the job, in such an important job, for a single day longer, is a truly unacceptable reality,” said Lee, the Yale psychiatrist.
President Trump arrives to speak during an Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House on December 8, 2020. “He’s going to go back to Mar-A-Lago, to Dagestan, as I call it, and he’s going to return to standing ovations and applause beyond what you can comprehend,” Cohen said, “because these sycophants that are there will continue to bolster his ego, and he can go from table to table, listening to people placate him about how the election was stolen from him.
We now know from declassified government records that U.S. intelligence agencies had surmised in July 2016 that then candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a plan proposed by one of her foreign policy advisors to create a false narrative that Donald Trump was working with the Russian government to throw the 2016 presidential election. She did this, according to notes from a briefing given by then CIA Director John Brennan to President Obama as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” The briefing to Obama took place on July 28, 2016, and the “Electronic Communication” that would launch the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into this supposed Russia- Trump collusion would be issued three days later, authored by coup plotter Peter Struck.
Hillary’s campaign, through the DNC and its law firm, Perkins Come, employed the services of former British MI6 officer, Christopher Steele, to concoct his infamous “dossier” containing all kinds of fabulist dirt on Mr. Trump. Steele in turn used as his primary source for the absurdist fabrications a suspected Russian intelligence agent named Igor Danchenko.
So Hillary had contracted out, it appears, her dirty political tricks operation to Russian intelligence and the corrupt FBI and CIA worked hand in glove to spy on and investigate the Trump campaign using that very same “dossier” filled with Mr. Danchenko’s disinformation. The FBI continued to rely on this material for the purpose of obtaining highly intrusive FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign even after learning that its provenance was Mr. Danchenko, whom the FBI had investigated years earlier as a suspected Russian spy.
Operation Crossfire Hurricane eventually morphed into the Mueller Special Counsel investigation, but it was all of a piece. And in the end, there was no evidence of collusion found, Mr. Mueller reported, after millions of dollars and years were spent on an investigation of the Trump administration.
A weasel within the White House named Lt. Col. Alexander Indian, an Ukraine expert on the National Security Council staff, apparently got his undies in a bunch because he felt that President Trump said something improper to President Zelensky of Ukraine. Indian would then become the driver of the second vehicle to take aim at the innocent Trump, running him over in an embarrassingly partisan impeachment proceeding that featured secret closed-door hearings worthy of North Korea.
He held on to a solid base of popular support from a citizenry that recognized the entirely baseless and political nature of the impeachment proceedings by a Democratic Party that loathed the man in the White House beyond any semblance of reason. Just as the shock of the failed impeachment began to wear off, a third vehicle came careening down the highway, this time driven by the Chinese, like a tank on Tiananmen Square.
Certainly scientific data, such as this fascinating presentation by Ivor Cummins, suggest that the virus is not nearly as dangerous as popularly perceived and the policies that most Western governments pursued have been wrong-headed, if well-intentioned. As he dusted himself off from the special counsel and impeachment hoaxes, and looked very strong going into the presidential election with a phenomenal economy at his back, the Chinese tank rolled across him like a Faun Gong practitioner in Beijing.
If President Trump manages to win re-election, despite the pummeling he’s taken from this political vehicular carnage, it will mark one of the most remarkable stories in the annals of American history. Donald J. Trump has merely been the victim of forces, both foreign and domestic, who would not tolerate his temerity for putting America first.