Wednesday, August 10, 2022


When FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago this week, Donald Trump whined, "They even broke into my safe," even though his son Eric later insisted that the safe was empty. New York magazine's Olivia Nuzzi was wondering what Trump keeps in the safe, so she asked a few people who might know. An unnamed ex-Trump employee had some thoughts.
[A] former Trump staffer did remember something from 2015. “We were talking about him running for president, and he was saying he was serious,” this person said. Trump was scheduled to stop in Louisiana before flying out of the country. On the 24th floor of Trump Tower, two staffers waited on the boss. “He comes down and he goes, ‘Shit, I have to go to the safe,’” this person said. “He comes down with one of those ‘TRUMP-MAR-A-LAGO’ bags — downstairs, if you bought a tie or something at the Trump store, you’d get a nice fancy shopping bag like you’d get at Saks — with about $50,000 in cash and six containers of white Tic Tacs. And he was going through the border. I know he didn’t declare that to customs!”

... The former staffer, who said Trump always carried cash, assumed the safe had ten times the amount in the shopping bag at any given time. “He wants to travel with cash; he doesn’t like to use credit cards. Think about Stormy, etc.,” as in Daniels, whom Trump (via [Michael] Cohen) paid to keep quiet about an affair. “He was always a big tipper too — not $50,000 in tips, but he would give the waiters and the waitresses $100 each.” Staffers got tipped, too. From the shopping bag, Trump grabbed $1,500 and handed it over. “For doing a good job,” the former staffer said.
So if this person is correct, America's most famous businessman keeps half a million dollars in cash in a safe. And routinely grabs $50,000 to use as walking-around money. And he carries it himself -- presumably so he can hand off big-money tips, in a desperate search for love and admiration.

Vicky Ward, who published a book in 2014 that Trump didn't like, believes that Trump keeps everything he thinks might be of use.
In my experience, Trump keeps everything—or copies of everything—no matter how apparently mundane because, to his mind…well, you just never know when it might be weaponized.

In 2014, I learned in a rather shocking way that Trump had kept all the correspondence he’d had with me in the previous six years. This was hardly earth-shattering correspondence containing classified information. Instead, it was a few simple thank you notes from me for various lunches, meeting, and one time he invited me to Mar-a-Lago. He was a source, but he also tried to be helpful (the motivation behind his kindnesses is up for debate), especially when I was selling my house. And so I wrote him hand-written notes, as I often do to people who take the time to have meetings with me.

However, in 2014, my book The Liar’s Ball was published.

... Trump didn’t like the book. And he was angry with me. On its publication day, he tweeted, “Just finished poorly written & very boring book on the General Motors Building by Vicky Ward. Waste of time!” Then he phoned the New York Post and claimed he’d saved me from foreclosure, which he had not. He then published photocopies of all my thank you notes on his Facebook page and wrote a letter to me referring to me as “Little Vicky” in a withering letter to my publishers....

In the end, all this negative attention was actually very helpful to me. I got asked about Trump’s reaction to my book on TV so often that I really owe him another thank you note for helping with book sales.
So Trump keeps scraps of paper and thank-you notes because he believes this helps him get revenge. Petty revenge. Petty revenge that sometimes backfires.

This is what mattered to Donald Trump in the years just before he became the president of the United States: giving ostentatious tips to service staff; engaging in reputation micromanagement by attempting to shame critics. For four years Donald Trump had the most powerful job in the world. But this is what he cared about. Never mind the ignorance, criminality, and inclination toward totalitarianism -- this alone would be reason enough never to let him near the Oval Office again. He's a small, pathetic man. I hope we're spared four more years of his boundless emotional needs.

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