Trump ghostwriter describes 'King Midas period' covered by New York Times report

Trump ghostwriter describes 'King Midas period' covered by New York Times report
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A former ghostwriter for President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE said that during part of the period when he reportedly lost more than $1 billion, Trump was neither "perpetually ashen-faced with fear" nor, as the president suggested in a tweet this week, expressing pleasure at the idea of gaming the IRS.

Rather, Charles Leehrsen, who wrote Trump’s 1990 book “Surviving at the Top,” wrote in a column for Yahoo that Trump, for the most part, "seemed bored out of his mind."


Leehrsen, who was with Trump from 1988 to 1990, describes the early part of their time together as Trump’s "'King Midas’ period,” calling Trump “a failing real estate developer who had little idea of what he was doing and less interest in doing it once he’d held the all-important press conference.” Despite his financial troubles, Leehrsen wrote, Trump was able to bluff his way to continue borrowing from banks, based largely on the image projected by Trump’s earlier book, “The Art of the Deal.”

Leehrsen also wrote that Trump spent much of his time during this period looking at fabric swatches, sometimes for hours at a time. Leehrsen describes an aide at one point telling him that if every room at the Plaza Hotel was occupied at list price every night, the revenue still would not cover the loan Trump had taken out to buy the hotel.

“In other words, he’d made a ridiculous deal. Neither he nor the banks had done the math beforehand. Or perhaps Trump knew it because someone had told him, but didn’t want to think about it,” Leehrsen writes. “The one thing he is above-average at is compartmentalization.”

In the Tuesday report, the Times, citing tax transcripts from 1985 to 1994, reported Trump lost nearly $1.2 billion during the decade. Another of Trump’s ghostwriters, “Art of the Deal” writer Tony Schwartz, a frequent critic of the president, tweeted Wednesday that the book should be reclassified as fiction in light of the reports.