In a Newsweek cover story on Donald Trump, one of his friends tells the interviewer that Trump will only go for the presidency “if he were appointed.”
Trump admits that he only has a glancing familiarity with important issues and intimates that he would hate running for office. “He’d love to be president, but only if he were appointed,” says one friend.Newsweek
Another friend tells Newsweek that Donald Trump doesn’t have an end goal besides acceptance from his father, a reality his niece Mary L. Trump covers in depth in her 2020 book.
“No achievement can satisfy what he wants,” believes one friend. “What he wants still is acceptance from his father. He is playing out his insecurities on an incredibly large canvas.”Newsweek
There are other interesting things in the Newsweek profile, too. For one, Donald Trump is very interested in building “a huge wall” behind Trump Plaza.
He’s also already in talks to buy a yacht from Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, which he does eventually buy.
In a completely tone deaf moment, Trump brags about becoming a corporate raider like his friend Carl Icahn. Corporate raiders buy big companies with the intention of profiting by running them into the ground–the same strategy some say Trump has for the United States 30 years later.
Trump in the last year joined the richest army in the world—the growing legion of corporate raiders. Three separate times he made millions of dollars after buying up big chunks of publicly traded companies and then selling after rumors of a possible acquisition drove the share prices up. It was all pretty easy, he says, easier than real estate…
He could, without question, become one of the most feared corporate raiders around. Trump has cash and almost unlimited borrowing capability. He could go after almost any company he wants.Newsweek
According to people interviewed by Newsweek, Trump also brags about having politicians and government officials on his payroll.
It was important to have government officials on his side, particularly in New York, where a thicket of regulations makes it extremely difficult to build anything. He became, in the words of one major developer, “the ultimate inside player.” When other developers made relatively small campaign contributions to government officials, “Trump was giving $50,000—and bragging about it,” says a former government official. He also hired key government people after they left public service because he wanted their intimate knowledge of bureaucracy.Newsweek
Trump also tells Newsweek he isn’t running for president, “but if I did… I’d win. There, I said it. I didn’t think I would, but I did.” He’ll continue saying he isn’t running for president through the rest of the year despite holding a campaign event in October.
This strategy of dismissing a presidential run while testing a presidential run could be Trump putting his name out there for an election later down the road. It’s also possible he was eager to run when he returned from Moscow in July but was convinced by Roger Stone that he’ll have a better chance in the future.