TRUMPED! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump by John R. O’Donnell hits shelves around the country. In it, the former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (O’Donnell) sheds light on the real Donald Trump behind closed doors.
The following are excerpts from a 1991 New York Times review of the book:
Mr. O’Donnell also implies that Mr. Trump is a racist and a touch anti-Semitic. Speaking about a black accountant at Trump Plaza, Mr. Trump, according to the author, opined that “laziness is a trait in blacks” and said to Mr. O’Donnell: “I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”
Indeed, according to the author, Mr. Trump was not above exploiting the publicity surrounding the 1989 helicopter crash that killed three of his top executives. Although there was never any possibility that he would have been aboard the helicopter, for weeks after the tragedy Mr. Trump went around implying that he had had a brush with death.
Blowing Through Money
Among the tidbits Mr. O’Donnell offers is that Mr. Trump’s two casinos, the Plaza and the Castle, each ordered 4,000 copies of “The Art of the Deal.” When selling them in the lobbies wasn’t sufficient to work down the inventory, the hotels gave them away to guests.
Mr. Trump never spent any of his money (or the banks’ money) on petty extravagances such as tipping the help. But he spent more than $1 million to alter every sign, logo, decal and fixture in order to change the name Trump’s Castle to Trump Castle.
Lack of Common Sense
Anybody with expertise in construction, the author contends, would have understood that during the years the Taj Mahal stood unfinished, the salt air and cold weather had deteriorated its structure, requiring millions of dollars in rehabilitation.
Nor did Mr. Trump understand that operating the Taj Mahal would be self-defeating because, as his third casino in Atlantic City, it would attract a large number of preferred customers from the other two.
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY — AFP/GETTY IMAGES