What is Donald Trump's best asset

Donald Trump: How he became what he is

How did he make his first million? Where does his disdain for losers come from? How did the women shape him in his life? And why does it have such a horrible taste? Part one of the Trump saga: the rise.

A Trump is not a quiet step. The name alone makes it clear: It probably goes back to the Middle High German "trumpe" and means "drum", "trumpet". Genealogists localize the origin of the sex in Baden and in the Rhineland. Donald Trump's grandfather Friedrich still lived in the German provinces, in the wine-growing village of Kallstadt. Until it became too cramped for him there in 1885: at the age of 16, with a hairdressing diploma in the sack, he boarded a ship to New York. An immigrant laid the foundation for the rise of Donald Trump, who would one day make his mark as the enemy of immigrants.

Grandfather Friedrich followed the fortune and gold seekers to Seattle and further northwest to the Yukon. He did not base his business on the precious metal, but on the men who were after it: In his restaurants along the mining routes there was food, drink and women to relax (they were called "sporting ladies"). Like his grandson later, Friedrich pushed the boundaries with his business practices. He insisted on mining rights that he did not own, built on land that belonged to others. When he sold his last eatery, he was less likely to prevent the gold rush from ebbing than to seize the morale.

Donald's father Fred (1905–1999) inherited Friedrich's ambition, but tended to split the blacks. On construction sites, he would bend down to pick up fallen nails to reuse them. He made his fortune with subsidized rental apartments and houses for workers aspiring to the middle class; that they were made of cheap red brick, which cost less than the brown one, he made up for with fancy white blinds. Fred also whitewashed his own origins: When the war made German ancestry suspicious, father Friedrich mutated into Swede - a fairy tale that Donald spread for a long time until he gave it up at some point.

Fred Trump's margin sense was as robust as Donald's later. He rented construction equipment to himself overpriced and billed it to the public purse. He spun his company network so finely that it was no longer possible to tell what he was doing with the subsidy money. Conversely, he gave away money - as a result, he had to testify before a committee of inquiry into the fight against political corruption. Father and son also filed a civil rights lawsuit by trying to keep black people out of their homes. Donald then sued the plaintiffs: They wanted to force him to give apartments to "welfare recipients". The trial ended with a settlement - it wasn't the last time Donald Trump counterattacked the defensive.

Besides, the father was a man of principle. Apart from the mansion in Queens and the Cadillac, he barely showed off, his office was like a barrack, and he forbade the children from having snacks. He has never been so daring to leave his home areas in Queens and Brooklyn and set foot in the hot speculative zone of Manhattan. This expansion of the hunting grounds was carried out by someone else with his company, his fourth child: Donald.

Donald Trump says his father was the most important person in his life. He measured it, he wanted to surpass it. In his autobiographical bestseller “The Art of the Deal” (1987) he wrote: “I wanted something bigger, more glamorous, more exciting. If I ever wanted to be known as anyone other than Fred Trump's son, I had to make my own brands. " It worked. Just as cunning as Fred, Donald was bolder and more theatrical than this one. The father admired him for this, but was not free from envy: the older one stood on toes to take photos together in order to appear taller. But it was Donald who made sure that the name Trump was finally emblazoned on towers, casinos and airplanes, stuck in people's heads and triggered reflexes around the world when Donald announced in June 2015: I want to be US President.

He? President?! Donald Trump is considered the Paris Hilton of the business world, famous for being famous. You think you know what he's got in him: a ruthless, successful person and an unwavering self-promoter. A preacher of simple recipes, a clown and entertainer. A do-it-all who tossed pieces of cake through the air on children's birthday parties and gave his music teacher a black eye. A villain who borrowed building blocks from little brother to glue them to his own. But above all, in Trump you have a fighter who wants to win at any price. When he was 13, he secretly stocked up on snap knives in Manhattan. As a result, his father Fred put him in a military academy, where he developed the will to win that he still likes to refer to today.

In the military academy, the motto was: "Winning is not everything, it is the only thing." The drill master had a tendency to go to the throats of weaker pupils.

Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946 in the New York borough of Queens. The mother, Mary Anne, was Scottish and so stingy that she personally collected the coins from the washing machines in the Trump tenement barracks. In the distinctly patriarchal family setting, it played a subordinate role. “She cooked, cleaned, darned socks and did volunteer work in the hospital,” the son recalls.

Three siblings were hierarchically above Donald: the sisters Maryanne and Elizabeth became capable professional women, the older brother Freddy, on the other hand, could not withstand the pressure of expectations. He was a soft-hearted beau and a good friend. During business negotiations, he fought without cover. Donald loved Freddy, but despised him for physically buckling under criticism from his father; the fact that he finally left the business and became an airline pilot made him a failure in the eyes of Fred, who wanted his children to be "killer".

Freddy started drinking and died at 43. A negative role model for Donald, who has not touched alcohol to this day (but that didn't stop him from launching his own vodka brand). The familiar way of dealing with Freddy's death throws a harsh light on the value system of the clan. Four years later, at an award ceremony, Fred noticed that all of his children were "successful" - as if Freddy had never existed. When the father died, Freddy's children found themselves disinherited by a will to which Donald had helped. They litigated: The Trump siblings had put the last demented patriarch under pressure. As a result, Donald stopped paying to treat Freddy's disabled grandson. He later said the affair had been amicably resolved.

But back to 1959 - military academy. Donald, 13-year-old with behavioral problems, encounters a milieu whose law is: "Winning is not everything, it is the only thing." The educators "beat the bones out of your body," he recalls. He looks back on his boarding school days as if he had won a war. He praises his drill master Theodore Dobias, a World War II veteran with a penchant for "poking the weak".

Donald begins to see life as the struggle of all against all. He is thus in the 400-year tradition of Thomas Hobbes; with the difference that the philosopher recognized the legal organization of societies as a way of alleviating the chaos of conflict. Trump, on the other hand, sees no moral agreement in his world. As early as 1981 he was talking about a "series of battles that end in victories or defeats". Today, as a candidate for the presidency, he knows the same principle at work in a world event in which others - Mexicans, Chinese, Muslims - are keen to dance on the face of battered America ("Crippeld America" ​​is the title of his latest book). His geostrategic problem-solving approach is not the art of negotiation, but rather: strike back, gain the upper hand, make America “great again”.

The military academy may have had more of an impact on Trump's personality structure than any other developmental experience. The contempt for losers remains a general theme of his life; it shows in the remark that John McCain was not a war hero because he was imprisoned in Vietnam; it was evident as early as 1964 when he observed the Swiss bridge builder Othmar Ammann, who stood aside unnoticed at the opening ceremony for "his" Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Trump did not see that Ammann was passed over in the honors, but that he was a "fool".

Many writers have looked at Trump's character. It is particularly recommended as an object of narcissism research. Opposite his desk in the Trump Tower hangs a huge mirror, every day he has a pile of newspaper articles placed on the table on top of himself. "He calls his own name during sex," etched ex-talk show host David Letterman. More serious than the fact that the man with the golden hair seems to be quite at peace with himself, however, is probably his anger-led temperament. In the essay "The mind of Donald Trump" ("The Atlantic"), the psychologist Dan P. McAdams compares him with Andrew Jackson, US President from 1829 to 1837. Jackson fought 14 duels in his life, and splinters of bullets were scattered throughout his life Body. When asked about things he regretted in the old days, he named men he should have hung or shot.

Trump says he regrets never having had anything with his acquaintance, Lady Di. With Jackson, McAdams writes, he shares an "authoritarian" character in addition to his willingness to be aggressive. That means: prejudices against minorities, aversion to the humanities, basic militaristic attitude. Trump's bizarre bug and virus phobia - he doesn't like to shake hands without disinfecting them immediately afterwards - is part of the diagnosis. "Authoritarian" characters tend to feel disgusted with anything strange and impure. Body fluids from women in particular seem to repel Trump. He insulted Fox News presenter Megyn Kelly as "Bim-bo, where the blood flows out everywhere". A toilet break from Hillary Clinton he commented: "Disgusting!"

Fellow students remember that Donald was popular at the military academy but had no close friends. His academic performance remains inconspicuous. On the other hand, he is sporty, as he says, "definitely the best baseball player in all of New York"; The only reason he did not want to become a professional was because there was “no real money to be made” with it. During this time, he also started to score with the girls. In the yearbook, his classmates name him the «woman hero» of his class; his nickname is: shrapnel.

After school, Donald flirts with the idea of ​​studying film, but then goes to Fordham University in the Bronx; the grades are not enough for an elite university. Two years later he makes it: to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. There is no passion for Trump, he smugly writes that the university taught him not to be impressed by academic titles. The polemic against intellectuals remains a lifelong pleasure for him, he feels doubly superior to them: as a practitioner and as a miracle of prudence. His claim to have obtained one of the best degrees of his year cannot be verified due to a lack of rankings.

Trump's intelligence hubris found its most pompous expression in the founding of Trump University in 2006. This marketing tool, born of greed for profit and empty educational symbolism, closed in 2011, but continues to make headlines through two lawsuits over the lousy level of courses and misleading advertising. The university promised to equip students with sneaky real estate deals for tens of thousands of dollars. There was little to learn. The courses were worthless, students complain. In addition, Trump's claim in promo videos that all lecturers were personally recruited by him was a lie. The teachers were not, as they said, acquainted with him either. Trump was only present as a cardboard figure in seminar rooms.

Trump University was a training program with no claim to convey education in the sense of empathy and the ability to differentiate. Trump is deeply skeptical of these values. In addition, as he told the journalist Michael D’Antonio, the author of a Trump biography that has just been published in German, he does not read any books, is neither interested in art nor in foreign languages ​​and cultures. Its only yardstick is success, which is measured in dollars. This one-dimensionality has earned him the contempt of the New York intelligentsia, but also the admiration of those parts of the population who equate education with educational arrogance.

But he had to study. In addition to a university degree, the Wharton School also provides him with a dispensation from military service. An important side effect: Donald doesn't want to go to Vietnam. Later, a drafting authority declared him unfit for a heel spur. But Donald stays away not only from the military, but also from the anti-war demos in which Hillary Clinton makes a name for himself. It is 1968, the great moment of the counterculture, but Trump, non-smoker, non-drinker, party grouch, has other things in mind. Namely real estate; and the validity that emanates from them.

As a child, he spent his free time on construction sites, and after graduation he went into business. However, the social climate of the districts in which Fred is anchored seems rough to him. There are tenants in Brooklyn who throw the trash out the window. When collecting money, it doesn't hurt that Donald is 1.88 meters tall and strong. The alpha and omega: always stand next to the front door when you knock. So, his father explains, bullets fired from apartments only hit the knocking hand. Donald finds the narrow profit margins in subsidized housing construction even more frightening than the risk of being shot. In order to be able to shop cheaply, the Trumps are looking for settlements that are currently being officially attached. In Cincinnati they buy 1,200 apartments, drive out old tenants with price increases, and sell for twice as much.

And yet he lacks fun in the end. The father turns every penny, structural visions are not an issue. In this austerity climate it seems reasonable to suspect the origin of Donald's ostentatiousness, marble, Versailles stucco and golden faucets. What is being criticized today as an architectural failure and an aesthetic inability is, viewed positively, an expression of a movement for emancipation. The fact that he chooses the most expensive glass ever - solar bronze - for the facade of his Trump Tower is a reaction to the dictatorship of the practical constraints of his youth. Stunned, the father stood in front of the 68-story monumental building and suggested that the glass be next to the to end the fourth or fifth floor to save "a few dollars", he writes in "The Art of the Deal". “I was touched, I knew where he came from. But also why I decided to get out of there. "

But out of there means: into Manhattan. In 1971, at the age of 25, Trump rents a studio on Third Avenue. He calls it an “apartment” and tries to furnish it in such a way that it looks as large as possible - but ultimately it's a shabby little apartment with a view of a water tank. But precisely in the gap to the ideal lies the perspective that fires Donald's will to rise: moving into the apartment was more exciting than later moving into the top three floors of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue with a view of Central Park, he writes. In the same year 1971, Fred passed the command of his family company "Elizabeth Trump & Son" on to Donald, who soon and - as he himself admits - renamed it in a very impostorate way "Trump Organization". Every evening the young real estate hunter goes on the prowl in Manhattan and looks at the skyscrapers. He commutes to work in a Cadillac convertible to Brooklyn. In addition to a strong ego, father Fred gave him a starter money box worth (according to Trump) one million dollars - not much can be done with it in the Big Apple even then. Trump is forced to use his most valuable tool: the ability to win over, charm and manipulate others.

Hardly in Manhattan, he dials the number of “Le Club”: the club in which he knows “some of the most successful men and most beautiful women in the world”. Then he dials the number again. And again. Until the president invites him for a drink. He made one condition for Donald to be accepted: he should keep his hands off the wives of older members.

In the club, Trump meets many of the rich people to whom he later sells the most expensive apartments in his towers. And he meets Roy Cohn, the mafia lawyer and ex-advisor to the communist agitator Joe McCarthy - “not a boy scout,” as Donald writes. The two find each other quickly. Almost every time Trump sets the course in his career, Cohn has his fingers in the game.He drafts the defense against the racial discrimination lawsuit, paves the way for the tax exemption that will become the cornerstone of Trump's power base in Manhattan, and drafts the marriage contract with wife number one, Ivanka, which has become legendary for his cold-heartedness.

Donald does a great job of weighing influential people. But he does not succeed in a business coup for the time being. Only the cooling economy helps him to do this. New York gets into a debt crisis in the 1970s and cuts building subsidies; Interest rates are rising, industrial jobs are being lost, people are moving to the suburbs and leaving Manhattan to decay. You don't believe in this city anymore. Trump writes: “I can't say I was awake at night because of it. I saw the city's problems as an opportunity for me. "

It was 1973 when suddenly land was for sale. In fact, an unlikely amount of land: 120 acres on the east bank of the Hudson, a seventh the size of Central Park, with nothing on it but freight tracks, sheds, abandoned industrial buildings. The bankrupt Penn Central Railroad is about to sell its silverware. When Donald reads about it in the New York Times, he sends a letter to the company handling the sale. The letter from the 27-year-old nobody was then left lying around for six months, writes Trump biographer Gwenda Blair. Trump claims in "The Art of the Deal" that he called the company: "Hello, my name is Donald Trump, I would like to buy the property on Sixtieth Street." Then he met with company boss Victor Palmieri and got on really well with him.

It is guaranteed that at some point a Palmieri employee will call him back - and immediately fall under his spell: “Donald literally crawled through the phone. His very first words were those of a salesman, he praised his projects and promised me to send a car over for a sightseeing tour, ”Gwenda Blair quotes him. The employee agrees to a meeting and is impressed with Donald's apartment plans for the Penn Central lots. When he asks for evidence of Trump's relationship network, the latter suggests a meeting with Mayor Abe Beame for the next day - without knowing how well his father knows Beame.

In fact, along with some politicians from the Democratic Party in Brooklyn, Beame is one of the decision-makers whom the shy old Trump keeps warm with his wallet open. The show of force succeeds: When the Palmieri employee registers at the town hall, Beame and the Trumps are already waiting for him. Donald gets - after long negotiations - the right of first refusal on the Penn Central parcels, although others offer more money.

In the first big deal, Trump wins partners by fooling them into something. The risky game could have "ended in disaster," as he admits.

He owes his second major project to the network from the first. Penn Central wants to give him another right of first refusal for a reservation fee of $ 250,000, this time to the Hotel Commodore near Grand Central Station: 1,900 rooms and a ballroom that once housed a circus and elephants. That’s over. The hotel is unprofitable, has flea markets in the foyer, and the crime rate is exploding all around. Father Fred is horrified: he thinks that one option for the Commodore is to try to buy a ticket for the "Titanic".

$ 250,000 was a lot of money for Donald back then. He instructs his lawyers to delay signing the contract. Meanwhile, he is playing poker on three fronts: against the Hyatt chain, which he wants to win over as the operator of the hotel. Compared to the bank that is supposed to finance it. And across from the city, from which he is demanding a tax break. Each party makes the commitment of the other a condition. Trump is bluffing, he's lying a fait accompli to the press. Before anything is settled, he hires an architect with a penchant for baroque dimensions, piles up legal fees and contract fees - a high-risk game of which he himself says: "It could have ended in a catastrophe."

In the fight for the tax rebate, he plays like a savior. He will employ people in construction, create jobs and get the whole area back on its feet. When they request a copy of the agreement with Penn Central, Trump sends an unsigned document - and gets away with it. He receives the unprecedented tax break for 40 years, New York loses 160 million tax. The new Hyatt is being built and is a great success for the two shareholders Trump and Hyatt. It has grown from a mid-range to a luxury hotel, with an atrium so large that there is no room for a hotel driveway. As a result, traffic jams all over the street.

Trump is now considered an accomplished juggler, mixer and promoter. But he doesn't want to help others to find houses, he wants to have all the building blocks for himself. He succeeds in doing so with the 202-meter-high shimmering bronze Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, which is inhabited by the super-rich. The shiny pink Breccia Pernice marble in the atrium indicates what kind of excellence one can assume higher up: Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Johnny Carson. The fact that Prince Charles also intended to buy is a strategic hoax. Trump was able to spread it because he knew the British royal family did not comment on rumors.

The Trump Tower will be the switching center of Trump's empire, birthplace of his presidential candidacy, symbol of his unlimited possibilities. In order to land here, Donald looks again for a troubled company - and finds the Bonvit Teller department store. Next to the department store is the Tiffany jewelry store. Famous for clients such as Marilyn Monroe and Truman Capote, it has been one of the fixed stars of pop culture since the film "Breakfast at Tiffany’s". Trump continues to weave the myth of the company. He creates the term "Tiffany Location" and claims that this is the expression that is common in the construction industry for the best location in a metropolis.

He gives the Bonvit plate owner a purchase - and takes a bite of the granite. But the man, who emphasizes like a mantra that a “no” is not a “no” for him, does not allow himself to be deterred. Like a stalker, he repeats his offer. At some point a trustee takes over the business of the department store, and lo and behold: Donald's unsolicited letters open the door for Donald. Before anyone else gets wind of anything, he signs an option on the lease.

He now has the top location in the bag. But the department store is only a few stories high. Trump is not allowed to go any higher, a usage plan forbids that. However, this also provides that unobstructed airspace can be traded. Tiffany next door owns one - and actually sells it to Donald. Why?

Biographer D’Antonio is based on a threatening tactic: Trump presents fantasy plans for an extra ugly building at the negotiating table, only to suggest that he could also spoil the neighborhood. Then he pushes in more elegant variants until the other side agrees with relief. He later got to work in a similar way with the purchase of the 118-room Mar-A-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. When the owners did not respond to his 28 million offer, he bought the neighboring parcel and started talking loudly about blocking the sea view from the villa with a bolt. The property can now practically no longer be brokered, Trump gets it for 5 million.

The architect Der Scutt is ultimately building the Trump Tower in a zigzag pattern that opens up the view from the apartments on two sides. Trump compensates for the wasteful floor plan with a cost regime on the construction site. The demolition is mainly done by paperless people from Poland who work under tariff and are sometimes rewarded with vodka. You hollow out the building from the inside - and then come to the nickel latticework and the two Art Nouveau friezes on the facade.

These friezes! Trump will never get rid of them. He promised to leave it to the Metropolitan Museum. The moment when the Poland Brigade dismembered the work of art is one of the standard episodes of any non-hagiographic Trump biography; the fall of the rubble into the hollow sums up the Mogul's lack of understanding of art, his cynicism and his ruthlessness in a timeless picture. It is also the occasion for the first appearance of "John Barons", a telephone voice who introduces himself as Vice President of the Trump Organization and explains to reporters how worthless these Frisians are. It would have cost $ 32,000 to get it plus half a million to delay construction.

The man on the phone is Trump himself, John Baron his alter ego. Like so many other things, Trump also copied this quirk from his father, who goes by the code name “Mr. Green »Phoned competitors to unsettle them and to question them. "Baron" is the enhancement of "Mr. Green ». He is not only the mole of his inventor, but also his cheerleader and brand manager - a self-extension that enables him to "say things that he wanted to be said about himself, by someone who was not himself" (D'Antonio ).

Trump manipulates the media through John Baron. You quote him as if he were real. Baron comments on rumors and threatens lawsuits. "John Miller" represents him in delicate situations. It is up to him to pump hot air into Trump's reputation as a playboy, he says: "Important beautiful women call him all the time." Apparently it is Miller who spreads that Carla Bruni and Madonna are interested in Trump. Miller falls silent when Trump marries Marla Maples. As for "Baron", Trump has to drop his mask in court. A lawyer sued for money that Trump had withheld from the Poland Brigade on the construction site and was threatened by "Baron" with a 100 million counterclaim. Trump shows no remorse: “A lot of people used stage names. Hemingway too. "

Two years after the department store friezes dusted off with "Barons" blessings, the Trump Tower stands; 2.5 million people visit it every year. Trump will build, buy and sell many more towers in the 1980s. Some things fail: The tenants of a subsidized apartment building near Central Park, which he wants to turn into a high-end property, are successfully resisting it. His plan for the tallest skyscraper in the world remains a plan. Nor does he own everything he claims to own, he is often only a shareholder or has already sold his share again. But his image forgives him for that. He stands for the dream that everyone understands, the American dream.

But Trump is also a ruthless speculator who uses brutal methods to drive prices up. How does he manage to appear not as a thief but as a savior in the lower social classes of all places? Perhaps by perceiving them or pretending to perceive them. He's the man who chats with the park rangers when a hotel opens, he's giving a child suffering from cancer $ 50,000. And he gives the New Yorkers their broken ice rink in Central Park, the Wollman Rink, known from many Hollywood films.

The refurbishment of the Wollman Rink takes two years. But when the city administration decides that the ice rink should also be a pond in summer, the work ran aground. Another cooling system is needed, a technological problem.

The new mayor Ed Koch is in charge of the construction site - a man as vain as Trump. It is a provocation when Trump offers to help him “out of the greatest embarrassment of his term in office”. Koch published Trump's letter in the newspaper stating that he rejected the offer because he wanted to keep the price of admission low. Koch believes the New Yorkers are on his side. But he is wrong and is forced to accept Trump's offer. This is building with interest-free loans from Chase Manhattan Bank at cost and faster than planned. Koch just manages to prevent the renovated ice rink from being named after Trump.

The fact that Donald Trump was able to become “The Donald”, embodied success, is also thanks to a cultural change in the 1970s. The whole of American society still took part in the post-war boom, and those who owned more than others hid this fact in style. But now there is a gap between above and below - not least in terms of self-portrayal. Wealthy people are starting to show off their wealth, the media and TV series such as "Dallas" and "Denver-Clan" are celebrating their lifestyle. Meanwhile, the lower layers are disappearing from the popular cultural world of images.

Even the intellectual newspaper “New York Times” supports the zeitgeist that has been shaped by the new money. In 1976 a reporter for the newspaper walks through Manhattan with Donald and raves about his “dazzling white teeth”; he sees "confusingly similar to Robert Redford". Trump talks about his Swedish origins and explains his success with his “flair”. The newspaper later calls him an "Adonis" who brings armed bodyguards to meetings. The tone is smug, but the length of the article alone shows that the man is fascinating.

At the age of 30, the same age as his father, Donald Trump married. Like his father, he married a foreigner: the Czech Ivana Winkelmayr, who was divorced from an Austrian skier. And he tells anyone who wants to know that he will have five children just like his father.

The five really exist today. The most visible daughter Ivanka, who is at the forefront of the election campaign, alongside Donald junior, Eric, Tiffany and Barron. Everyone is successful and he maintains close contact with everyone. In doing so, Donald brings Fred's failed ideal to perfection on the fallen son Freddy.

The ex-wives hold on to Trump to this day. Ivana withdraws her remark about having felt raped by him once.

But when it comes to dealing with women, Donald leaves Fred's path and dares to step out of the suburbs. Fred Manns was already enough to pose at the control stick of an excavator on whose shovel he had loaded six bikini women. But while the older one stayed married to the same woman for 63 years, Donald brags about his conquests. For example in the book "The Art of the Comeback": "If I really talked about my experiences with women, often married, very important women, then this book would be a guaranteed bestseller." One of the lovers, Marla Maples, becomes wife number two; number three, Melania Knauss, can no longer avoid commenting on his image as a womanizer (“I knew his reputation as a ladies man ») . It didn't bother her, the marriage has lasted for eleven years. Both ex-wives talk almost only good things about Donald Trump. Ivana finds him “boyishly adorable”, Marla Maples enthuses to a tabloid that she had “the best sex of her life” with Trump (after she had recently been insulted as a “slut” by her still-wife Ivana on the ski slope in Aspen ). And what is Trump doing? Waving the newspaper with the sex headline, he shouts through his office: "Have you read that?"

The women remain loyal to him. Ivana withdraws a remark that she once felt raped by him. Another lover denied hints in the New York Times that Trump had been intrusive towards her. Trump has all the qualifications to be considered a childish but successful playboy.

Trump's obsession with female sex appeal resembles that of a girl collecting glitter stars.

But the opposite is the case; Critics consider that Trump has a problem with women. The main reason for this is insults. He certified a “New York Times” author a “dog face”, the actress Rosie O’Donnell a “fat, ugly face”, “ugly inside and out,” he called Arianna Huffington. He is happy to comment on weight changes in women. "You like your candy", he tells his manager Barbara Res, he is said to have called Miss Universe 1996 "Miss Piggy". The Miss Universe organization then invited her to a fitness studio for training, not knowing that Trump and representatives from 90 media were waiting for her there. The trauma torments this guaranteed Trump non-voter to this day.

Measured against his ruthlessness as a real estate speculator, the sexist failures remain footnotes in Trump's register of sins. Research by the "New York Times" into Trump's behavior towards women did not reveal any judicial transgressions. And something else takes the strain off Donald: In contrast to his father, he employs ambitious women for his goals, listens to their advice and promotes them to the highest positions in his company. Above all Louise Sunshine, a political fundraiser who, according to the biographer Gwenda Blair, had more influence on Donald "than any other woman, with the exception of his mother." It gives him his license plate with the initials DJT, which he has longed for since childhood.

The engineer Barbara A. Res is handing Trump over the management of large construction sites at a time when the industry is almost exclusively male. Res remembers how he praised her "killer qualities" and said to her: "Men are generally better than women, but a good woman is better than ten good men." With no other of her employers her gender was so irrelevant.But then, in the late 1980s, Trump began to decorate his office with beautiful women, "the receptionists all looked like models, and only the prettiest were allowed to serve coffee to guests." Res tells the New York Times how she once instructed an employee to take lunch orders. Trump went with a "Not her!" in between - and chose a prettier one. "He wanted to give the impression that only attractive women worked for him."

Trump's obsession with female sex appeal resembles that of a girl collecting glitter stars. It not only determines the decor of your living space, but also operational decisions. A prime example of this is the purchase of the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants. He creates a monument of political correctness as little as his father with the bikini girls on the excavator shovel. One candidate reports unsolicited kisses, another says that Trump assessed her more penetratingly than "a general his train". Not even his own children escape his fixation. When 16-year-old daughter Ivanka appears as a helper in the Miss Teen USA election, Trump asks Miss Universe: "Don't you think my daughter is hot too?"

Ivana, the most ambitious and entertaining of the three Trump women, wants to be more than just accessories.

None of this helps when trying to imagine a man who campaigns with the size of his genitals as having a big heart. Trump's feelings seem to obey the macho logic, according to which the younger blonde is always the better. If we rewind the film of his Education sentimentale to 1977, we see him submitting a prenuptial agreement to his wife number one, which his spirit, Rector Roy Cohn, made extra-stingy. "Everyone has the right to protect their wealth," he explains in "How to get rich". Ivana forces a treaty change in her favor. Her emblematic comment after the divorce comes from the film “The First Wives Club” (1996), where she advises three abandoned film wives: “Don't get angry. Rip off! "

Mayor Abe Beame attended the wedding celebration, which apparently took place without the illusion of eternity, while Norman Vincent Peale, the positive thinking co-inventor who had taught Trump to worship himself since his youth, performed the wedding ceremony. We know about the bride that she belonged to the Czech Olympic Ski Delegation in 1972 and that she wanted to finish seventh in the downhill. A rumor that has never been confirmed; The Swiss Bernadette Zurbriggen is in seventh place on the descent. More difficult to verify is Ivana's claim that she was one of the most sought-after models in the city of Montreal. But even if she invented her successes, her ambition is real and helps make a figure in society out of Trump, who is absorbed in business.

In the subtle New York high society, the Trumps stand out like brightly colored dogs. Ivana trades Donald's ill-fitting suits for tailor-made ones. But the glamor of her own wardrobe looks cheap: bombastic, ruffled robes, costumes with broad shoulders like for ice hockey, short skirts like those from the street and more gold than at the court of Nero (“Der Spiegel”). Still, the Trumps are conquering the old money centers in New York and Palm Beach. It is the eighties, greed and craving for recognition are developing into socially acceptable character traits.

Ivana and Donald are equipping their new eight-room apartment on Fifth Avenue with mirrors that are framed with flashing lights. But Ivana, the most ambitious and entertaining of the three Trump women, wants to be more than just accessories. Donald sends her with a helmet and a notepad, but equipped with unclear skills, to construction sites, where she spreads fear and horror among engineers. On a tour of the Hyatt Hotel, a company with 1,500 employees, she discovers dust in the corners and drives the manager insane. The manager is then replaced by the top Hyatt boss with an Eastern European who can empathize better with Ivana.

The biographer Gwenda Blair thinks that the amateur wife was a management tool for Donald “like a textbook for Machiavellian corporate management”. Because Trump even refrains from regulating the distribution of tasks between her and her father-in-law, Fred, both complain about each other and have to have him reaffirm their role over and over again. Trump pays his wife a monthly salary of one dollar and an unlimited shopping budget. After the birth of the children Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric, he made them President of the New York Plaza Hotel and Trump Castle Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and Vice President of his holding company.

He planted the seeds of the crisis in the 1980s when he expanded his business area to include gambling.

The crisis first emerges on Ivana's face. At a dinner in Trump's honor it is suddenly so narrow that you can hardly recognize her. The cosmetic surgery offensive doesn't spare her the shame of being exposed by her husband at the ski slope rencontre with Trump's lover in Aspen. Donald puts Ivana and the children on a plane to New York. In the 1991 divorce, she asked for 2.5 billion in damages - half of what Trump himself stated as his fortune. But because his financial situation was considered problematic at the time, Ivana had to be content with around 20 million from the marriage contract.

Donald, on the other hand, fathered his second daughter with Marla Maples and could not resist the temptation to name her Tiffany. Married shortly after the birth, 1993; Among the 1000 guests in the New York Plaza Hotel are Rosie O’Donnell and O. J. Simpson, who were later insulted by Trump. As an apanage, Marla does not receive any sham competencies in the empire like Ivana, but presentation jobs in Donald's Miss competitions. Maples is now known on Wikipedia as an “actress and TV personality”. Artistically, she will drift into esoteric swamp after separating from Trump, her album “Endless” (2013) heralds a spiritual awakening.

Radio host Howard Stern gives Donald's relationship with Marla four months. In fact, the two divorced after six years, in 1999. The year before that, Trump's love affair with the Slovenian model Melania Knauss, then 28, married in 2005 in Palm Beach in the presence of Heidi Klum, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton (who doesn't bring a present ); Despite the invitation, Prince Charles, Henry Kissinger and Arnold Schwarzenegger were absent. Melanie is even quieter than Marla, she mainly devotes herself to raising her son Barron and her jewelry collection.

Trump has invested hundreds of millions in Atlantic City - not his money.

Is Donald Trump's love biography a winner's biography? Definitely in his eyes. But viewed from the outside, the glamor of its wedding guest lists belies the wreckage of marriages. Parallels to this can be found in Trump's way of doing business: Here it is skyscrapers that outshine bear markets, bankruptcies, emergency sales and asset losses. With the difference that the entrepreneur Trump's debacles drag others - banks, creditors, employees - into misery, people who let themselves be deceived by his promises and see themselves cheated out of their property and their hopes by the collateral damage of his will to succeed.

He planted the seeds of the crisis in the 1980s when he expanded his business area to include gambling. If he built his monuments in Manhattan mainly with the money of the rich, he is now targeting the savings of the little man. The state of New Jersey legalized gambling in 1977, the second state after Nevada. Atlantic City, 200 kilometers from New York, promises to become the Las Vegas of the east coast. Trump buys land and has two casino hotels built in the early 1980s, but his main interest is in a giant project that has been under construction since 1983 and that he wants to make the largest casino ever, the “eighth wonder of the world” and another trademark of his gigantism: the "Trump Taj Mahal".

A quarter of a century later, Atlantic City resembles a ghost town. Layers of salt cover the windows of closed casinos, the carpets in the "Taj Mahal" are frayed and covered with dust, dull chandeliers dangle over the heads of the few guests. The city is bankrupt. Trump is gone, his Trump Plaza Casino and hotel out of order, the Trump Marina Hotel Casino is sold, it's now called Golden Nugget. Even the “Taj Mahal” he was after so doggedly no longer belongs to him, but to the even richer corporate hunter Carl Icahn. What happened?

Trump overestimated himself. He's invested hundreds of millions in Atlantic City - not his money. His image of success has made it easy for him to get loans. The banks trust him, he promises them profits in the near future. He has proven that he can build quickly, using real glass and concrete that is visible to all the world. It is not least the material value character of his investment objects that simulates reliability in a financial world that is based on increasingly abstract, bubble-fragile profit models - up to the Wall Street crash in 2008 and beyond. "It is difficult to imagine someone who is even more than Trump a creature of the complex financial world," writes the financial journalist Rana Foroohar in the magazine "Time".

Trump owes much of his creditworthiness to the fact that nobody has an overview of his assets. The market value of his real estate is nowhere recorded, Trump can throw fancy figures into the balance with creditors. In the presidential race he puts his fortune at 10 billion dollars, the information service provider Bloomberg, who is decisive in such questions, only comes to 2.9 billion, the business magazine "Forbes" to 4.5 billion.

Trump's brand equity also contributes to the difference - no matter how difficult an asset it is to quantify. Experts see in his name the key to his power. Trump writes it on every new tower, but also on mineral water, wine and perfume bottles, on yachts and airplanes, sports jerseys, golf courses. Of the 515 companies associated with him, 268 bear his name. It has become so synonymous with success that other entrepreneurs are licensing it; Hotel operators who pay to be able to attach the letters T-R-U-M-P to their boxes (such as the Trump Ocean Club in Punta Pacifica, Panama, or Trump's International Hotel & Tower in Toronto).

But his name does not protect Trump from the stagnation of the 1990s. His real estate is losing value, and the business in Atlantic City, where he opened the Taj Mahal in 1990, is doing poorly. People don't want to throw their money away, and if they do, then maybe in one of those establishments that have been allowed to operate “Indian Nations” on their tribal territory since 1988 - competition that Trump did not foresee. Things get worse for him when the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut generally allow gambling. Trump has to file for bankruptcy four times, the first time shortly after the opening of the Taj Mahal in 1991, the last time in 2009.

The shipwrecks show: Trump's talent for self-marketing does not save him from strategic mistakes.

Although Trump's Atlantic City adventure ended in disaster, he portrays it as a personal success. "Atlantic City has fueled my growth a lot," he explains. "I took an incredible amount of money with me from here." How does he come to this conclusion? In the article "How Donald Trump bankrupted his Atlantic City Casinos, but still earned millions", two New York Times authors describe how Trump shifted debts to his casinos while collecting millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses. He had borrowed the money at interest rates so high that the bill never paid off. "The burden of his failure was borne by investors and other financiers who had bet on his business acumen."

In 1995 he got some breathing space by going public with the casinos. The stock sale raised $ 140 million, and a year later a second sale raised $ 380 million. In the case of bankruptcies, he is saved by American bankruptcy law, which leaves loopholes open to protect entrepreneurship: so-called bankruptcies under “Chapter 11”. These exempt private individuals from liability for their companies and value their survival higher than the interests of the creditors. The management remains largely in function and is even allowed to take out new loans, only transactions have to be approved by the bankruptcy court.

Trump turns out to be “too big to fail”. The banks cannot afford to break up his company, they would go under with him. It is true that he has to sell off assets such as his 90-meter yacht “Trump Princess”, his 50 percent stake in the Commodore Hotel converted into a Hyatt and, most recently, in 2009, also the “Taj Mahal”. But his Trump Organization survived, and with it Trump's myth of success.

The letters T-R-U-M-P remained on the "Taj Mahal" - the company continues to pay to use the name. How is that possible? Perhaps for the prosaic reason given by a lawyer involved in the sale: Because Trump had put his name on every prop imaginable, on gaming chips and glassware as well as on carpets and curtains, it would have been priceless to change everything. Even in the crisis, Trump earned money from his vanity.

Trump fails not only with the gambling business, his airline Trump Shuttle is also grounding. In 1989 he took over 20 old Boeing 727s from Eastern Airlines for 380 million francs and sprayed them with fairy dust: gold-colored fittings, marble-design washbasins. But the business people, his target audience, don't want to pay for these bells and whistles. Trump fires managers with high salaries, he plans to fly with only two instead of three pilots, in vain. The airline goes to the creditors and later to US Airways. Today Trump owns a Boeing 757-200 for private flights again.

As his real estate business slips into crisis, the show becomes more and more central to Trump.

Trump also causes great damage through his simulation games with the United States Football League (USFL). It was launched in 1983 with the aim of earning money with the traditional fall sport of football in the spring as well. That works passably, you have two TV contract partners. Then Trump steps in, buys the New Jersey Generals club and proclaims: "If God had wanted football in spring, he would never have invented the spring sport of baseball." Trump wants the USFL in the fall. He wants to call on the all-powerful National Football League (NFL) to fight for resources.

At the start of the third season, under Trump's pressure, the USFL decides to actually let the fourth season take place in the fall. The TV contractors and other club owners are against it, the foundation of the league is beginning to crumble. But Trump has a solution ready, he says: "We are suing" - against the NFL because of its monopoly. The only reason the USFL did not get any TV contracts in the fall was that the NFL had tied all networks to itself. The court found the USFL right about the monopoly. Instead of the required $ 1.2 billion, she grants her compensation of $ 1. It is the death of the league, largely due to Donald Trump.

If the football bankruptcy arose from Trump's belligerence, other bad investments can be attributed to self-deception that his name alone guarantees success. The board game "Trump - The Game" is heavy on the shelves, and Trump vodka is also becoming a slow seller. Hardly anyone likes the Trump steaks, “the greatest steaks in the world”, which you can order from 2007 to 2014 by post or at the steakhouse in Las Vegas. The Trump mortgage bank closes after a year, and the goTrump.com search engine disappears from the network just as quickly. The "Trump Magazine" for rich people also receives too little attention.

The shipwrecks show: Trump's talent for self-marketing does not save him from strategic mistakes. He overestimated the casino boom in Atlantic City and underestimated the competition from other casinos. He reacts with slander against the Indians who run the other casinos: Trump accuses them of involvement in organized crime - in the same way that he generally identifies Mexicans as rapists and drug traffickers in the election campaign today.

Trump's tendency to interfere in operational details also gets in the way. In the “Taj Mahal” he wants to reduce labor costs with machines that dispense game coins for the slot machines - faster than any employee. In doing so, he ignores the fact that customers wanted to count the coins spit out and the change before they clear the space in front of the machine. The result is traffic jams and chaos in the aisles.

Despite Trump's actionism, witnesses to his casino adventures dismantle the image of the omnipresent boss. His zeal for control appears to them as an attitude - as if the boss is only showing his commitment. A few thousand kilometers to the east, Scottish landlord Tom Griffin, from whom Trump bought the land for a golf course in 2006, made a similar impression.The traveling salesman on his property seemed like an actor on a London stage, he tells Michael D’Antonio: "There was Donald Trump and played Donald Trump."

Hasn't he always wanted to go to the theater? After university, when his position in the family business was already fixed, he gave it a try. He showed up unannounced at Broadway producer David Black's office and invited him to lunch. Black recalls in the "Financial Times" that Trump had given him money for the production of the play "Paris is out!" offered - in order to be noted as a «producer» in return. So it happened. But the piece flopped. "What should I do now?" Asked Trump. Black suggested, "Why don't you want to try the real estate business?"