4. When pressed on awkward topics—such as whether or not he regularly read Adolf Hitler’s speeches—he turns skittish and, perhaps, inventive.
Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.
“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.
Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”
“I don’t remember,” I said.
“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)
Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”
7 Takeaways from Vanity Fair’s 1990 Profile of Donald Trump | Vanity Fair – Like Michael Milken, Trump began to believe that his inordinate skills could be translated into any business. He started to expand out of the familiar world of real estate into casinos, airlines, and hotels. With Citicorp as his enabler, he bought the Plaza and the Eastern shuttle. He managed them both surprisingly well, but he had paid too much for them. He always had the ready cooperation of the starstruck banks, which would later panic. A member of the board of the Chase Manhattan Bank recently demanded at a meeting, “What in God’s name were you thinking of to make these loans?” No satisfactory answer was forthcoming; the Rockefeller bank had once kept Brazil afloat, too. The bankers, like the Brooklyn-machine hacks from Trump’s childhood, were blame shufflers, frantic to keep the game going.