David Cay Johnston Reveals the Real Donald Trump

Who is the real Donald Trump? Steve Adubato gets insight from Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, David Cay Johnston, the author of “The Making of Donald Trump." We get the inside account about the man who went from business tycoon to holding the highest office in the land.

9/15/17 #2079






"We are pleased to welcome David Cay Johnston, who is the author of The Making of Donald Trump. It's a bestseller and also a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Good to see you David. Good to be here. We're doing this in the Spring of 2017. And we are not a program that looks at where the President is today, but we try to make sense of who he is as a man, as a person, as a leader. What did you conclude in this book? Because this is a fascinating book at the core. Well, understand that I've known Donald for almost 30 years, and have followed him all these years, even the years that I wasn't writing about him. The minute I met Donald, I thought he was an absolutely fascinating character. I met him in June of 1988, in Atlantic City. And I said, "This guy is going to be a significant force in American culture." He understands how to manipulate the news media. He is full of bravado and nonsense. And he's eager to put himself out there. He's P. T. Barnum. He's our P. T. Barnum. And what astonished me, very quickly, was finding out from his competitors like Steve Wynn, and casino executives, and law enforcement people, and even some big gamblers, they all said, "Donald doesn't know anything about the casino business." So I'm like, what, "The man owns two casinos! How can he not know this?" And then I started talking to him about it, and began to realize, he didn't know anything about the casino business. It was all bluster. And that's what you see in him as President. Donald Trump doesn't know a Sunni from a Shia, and why it matters to our policy in the Middle East. He convinced an awful lot of people to vote for him. He certainly did. And he's masterful as a salesman about issues where he wants to focus you, and he's very good at getting the news media confused and distracted and covering what he wants, and we often don't see reports pointing out that in a 90 second period, Steve, you can see Donald in videotape say something and then deny he said it. That's a skill? Oh yeah. Yeah, to pull it off and get away with it. Donald is, in my view, the greatest con artist in the history of the world. Is it a character...? He's President! Is it a character issue? Oh sure. Yeah. I mean Donald is a man who, you know, all of his biographers, the great, late Wayne Barrett, who was the first reporter onto him. Yes..."