Will GOP Voters Abandon Trump When They Find Out He's Not Really A Billionaire, But Just Playing One On TV?
Republican primary voters have now had a good look at what kind of a leader-- as opposed to what kind of a TV reality show personality-- Trump would make. And they like what they see. He's holding down the #1 position among all Republican candidates, by a growing margin.
Lindsey Graham went on CBS to call Donald Trump "a jackass." Maybe Lindsey shouldn't get into a name-calling pissing match with Trump. Sure, "everybody" already knows that Lindsey is a closeted homosexua,l but "everybody" doesn't include up-country South Carolina Republicans... and the mainstream media has always steadfastly given Graham a pass on his bachelorhood status. A serious discussion of why Senator Graham has decided to live his life in the closet-- to live a profound lie-- would be as fascinating (and ratings-rich) to the American people as the current orgy of Trump-mania. Graham should probably just let the Des Moines Register demand Trump drop out of the race by calling him a "feckless blowhard."
In the video up top, the Jimmy Kimmel staff writers seem to imply that Trump isn't just a "feckless blowhard," but that he's a habitual liar. And "everybody" knows he is-- except the same kind of Republican primary voters who can't picture Lindsey Graham enjoying other men's penises. Timothy O'Brien is the publisher of Bloomberg View and once wrote a couple of books on Trump, Trump: How to Get Rich and TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald. Like everybody else (except the "little folks"), he knows Trump isn't a billionaire. Oh, he really knows. Trump sued him, and he and his lawyers got to question Trump under oath.
Donald and I first met in the ’90s when I was writing a book about gambling, and we intersected again later when I was a reporter for the New York Times. Eventually I wrote a book, TrumpNation, that looked at Donald’s myriad roles as a carnival-barker-cum-real-estate-developer-cum-gambling-mogul-cum-celebrity.
Donald cooperated with the project, and I spent time on his plane, in his cars, at his homes, in his office, and out and about, absorbing some valuable business lessons. After the book came out, I didn’t hear from Donald for a few months. Then, in early 2006, he sued me for $5 billion (half of my net worth!), claiming that the book libeled him because it expressed some skepticism about his wealth.
But Donald had no idea how hard it was to get this right! On a single day in August 2004, he told me his net worth was $4 billion to $5 billion, then revised that later the same day to $1.7 billion. Forbes said at the time he was worth $2.6 billion. A year later Donald told me he was worth $5 billion to $6 billion, but a brochure left on my nightstand at his Palm Beach resort said he was worth $9.5 billion. When I interviewed Donald’s chief financial officer in a Trump Organization conference room in 2005 to discuss the range of numbers, the figure shared with me was $5 billion, not $6 billion. “I’m going to go to my office and find that other billion,” the CFO advised.
My sources at the time-- all of whom had worked closely with Donald and had direct knowledge of his finances-- believed that his net worth was $150 million to $250 million. Donald attributed those figures to naysayers.
“You can go ahead and speak to guys who have four-hundred-pound wives at home who are jealous of me,” he told me, “but the guys who really know me know I’m a great builder.”
When the net worth confusion appeared in my book, Donald sued, saying that low-balling his riches had damaged his reputation. My attorneys proceeded to get Donald’s tax, bank and property records. We stood our ground, and the suit was dismissed in 2009. Donald appealed, and in 2011 an appellate court affirmed the earlier ruling.
My lawyers deposed Donald for two days during the litigation, and we covered a range of interesting subjects. Among the documents discussed was a Deutsche Bank assessment that pegged Donald’s net worth at $788 million in 2005. At the time, Donald was telling his bankers and casino regulators that he was worth $3.6 billion; he was telling me he was worth $5 billion to $6 billion.
Have you “always been completely truthful in your public statements about your net worth,” my attorneys asked Donald. “I try,” was his reply. When they asked him about how he calculated his net worth, he noted that the figure “goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings.” Later he added that “even my own feelings affect my value to myself.”