In a major discovery, a diary kept by Donald Trump when he was a young man reveals that the next president of the United States pledged at age 24 to live his life as performance art. “Everything I do, I will do as if the world is watching me at all times and in all places,” Trump writes in a diary entry in 1970. “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? No!!”
Later in the same entry, dated March 23, Trump contends he makes no sound in the world if no on is there to hear it. “What’s the point of doing anything if no one sees you do it?” he writes. “I could make all the money in the world, but if I’m not in The New York Times or on NBC TV, who cares? People who live their lives in obscurity, outside the public eye, live sad, pathetic lives. That will not be me!!”
The entry is remarkabe for its candor and vulnerability, say art and literary ctitics who have studied the diary, which was discovered in a suite Trump occupied in one of the first hotels he built as a young developer. The person who found the diary, Dick Simons, a commercial property investor who bought the hotel from Trump in 1976, donated the diary in October to the art department at Columbia University in New York City. Simons says he first contacted Trump and offered to return the diary, but Trump said it wasn’t his. Simons says he had the diary analyzed by forensics and other experts, and all of the experts agreed the diary was his. Among other things, Trump’s fingerprints are found on each and every page. “The prints were unmistakable,” Simons says.
Alfred Lawson, professor emeritus and director of the Doane Institute of Art at Columbia University, says he examined the diary over two months and found the entries “astonishing in their humanity.” Lawson says the writing portrays a young man in search of identity after growing up under the eye of a dominating and successful father and an alcoholic older brother who died at a young age.
“What we see in these entries is a vulnerable man who vowed to turn his life into a complete work of art,” Lawson says. “From that very first day, when he was 24, he has transformed himself into the living embodiment of performance art. Everything he does he does for the purpose of being on display. His every move is as studied as a Broadway performer’s, except that Trump is never off stage. He is never not in the character “Donald Trump.” And he’s been doing it for so long that living his life as a work of art has become second nature to him. There is no Donald Trump the Man; there is only Donald Trump the Performance.”
A spokesperson says the Doane Institute will make the diary available to the public in a special exhibit starting in March. The exhibit will include a virtual-reality booth in which visitors will “become Donald Trump for a moment and experience what it’s like to live each and every moment as if one is a work of art.”
Tickets will be $70 for adults and $25 for children. The gift shop will feature mugs, paperweights, and greeting cards that showcase some of Trump’s most memorable phrases from his diary entries. Lawson says he expects the line, “What’s the point of doing anything if no one sees you doing it?” to be a popular choice.
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): tnn (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
President-elect Donald Trump said one of the great foreign policy successes in United States history—its purchase of about a third of its landmass in what is known as the Louisiana Purchase—was an “amateur” real estate deal made by “hacks.” Speaking at the last of his “victory rallies,” in Mobile, Ala., Trump said he could have acquired the more than 800,000 square miles of territory from France for 45 million francs, rather than the 68 million francs President Thomas Jefferson paid in 1803. The price tag of 68 million francs translates into about $15 million, or about $250 million in today’s dollars, a price historians say is remarkable for a piece of land that extends from the southern tip of Louisiana to the northern border of Montana and gives the United States its breadbasket—the area of the country that is among the most fertile in the world. More.
As he vowed to do, President Barack Obama retaliated against Russian hacking of the U.S. election by releasing photos that Russian President Vladimir Putin is embarrassed to see on the Internet. “We were clear to President Putin that he would regret meddling in the election, which is so fundamental to our Democracy,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest this morning. “President Obama was very clear that the United States would retaliate in a manner and at a time of its choosing, and today we have made good on that threat with the release of these embarrassing photos of Vladimir Putin.” The photos are devastating indictments of Putin, say security experts and intelligence analysts. In one photo, Putin is wearing an anti-Putin t-shirt. In another, he has a propeller hat on his head. In a third, he has a message taped to his back that says “Kick me!” More.
John Forrester made his name picking apart the weaknesses of George W. Bush and now he has put our next president, Donald Trump, under his knife with his new book, How to Play Trump Like a Fiddle: A Guide for Foreign Leaders. The book immediately rose to the top of The New York Times bestseller list, with rave reviews like this one, from Andrew McNair of The New Yorker: “Forrester expertly walks prime ministers, presidents, chancellors, and business leaders through the three basic steps that will all but guarantee you will get what you want from Donald Trump while making him think he made a good deal.” More.
President-elect Donald Trump said today he will move U.S. spy operations to Russia, which has “terrific” surveillance and “fantastic” intelligence gathering. “Our spy operations are a disaster,” Trump said after meeting with Mike Pompeo, the Kansas congressman who is in line to head up the CIA. Trump said his “good relationship” with Russia president Vladimir Putin makes the partnership with Russia’s spy agency, known as the KGB, a “fantastic opportunity to get the best intelligence, the best knowledge of what’s going on in the world.” More.
President-elect Donald Trump caused a stir December 3 when a photo of him exiting his plane showed he was using Scotch tape to hold his tie together. Given the pride he takes in his wealth and appearance, the incident made us wonder what else he’s holding together with Scotch tape. Here’s what we found. More.
Americans across the country took delight in watching President-elect Donald Trump give the world’s largest country a poke by speaking on the phone with the president of Taiwan, a breach of diplomatic protocol, and then tweeting snarky statements about China’s trade practices. “It feels good after so many years of watching China eat our lunch to see our president-elect give the country the ol’ Donald Trump treatment,” says Ronald Portman, a retired mechanic in St. Paul, Minn. “Ha ha.” More.
Americans say they’re still proud* to be Americans. That’s the theme of a group that Americans launched today, called America Proud!®, to express how proud* they are to be Americans, today and tomorrow. “We’re Americans first and always will be, and with our new organization, we’re telling the world that we stand tall* as Americans because we love our country,” says Jared Brown (not his real name), a ski instructor in Park City, Utah, who is president of the new group. More.
NEW YORK CITY—President-elect Donald Trump said this morning he’ll take revenge on personal slights against him and humiliate his critics “on behalf of everyone in the United States” and not just on his own behalf. “No one wants to settle scores for all Americans more than I do,” he said while meeting with potential picks for his cabinet in Trump Tower. “I want people to know they can take pride when I hit back at someone doubly hard when they cross me. I take pride in that, and I hope all Americans will, too.”nTrump said he’s spent his life rewarding people who say nice things about him and striking back at people who call him names, and that won’t change now that he’ll be rewarding and striking back at people on behalf of everyone. More.
President-elect Donald Trump accused his formal rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, of ordering the “hit” that ended the life of long-time Cuba dictator Fidel Castro at age 90. “The body language of my intelligence analysts makes it clear beyond any doubt that the senator from Texas is behind the death of Castro,” Trump said in a meeting at his transition headquarters in Trump Tower in New York City. Trump said his company had been planning to build a luxury hotel in Havana for several years, and that plan is going forward. “We have great relations with Raul Castro,” he said, referring to the brother of Fidel Castro, who has been running Cuba on a day-to-day basis for several years. “He wants to move forward. He views this as an important project for his country. A huge project. And we’re going to build it. More.
With his inauguration approaching, President-elect Donald Trump has asked a group of scientists to determine how much hair spray he’ll need to keep his famous combover in place during his inauguration speech, which traditionally takes place outdoors. The group has been meeting for almost a week and more meetings are planned between now and inauguration as it tries to nail down the precise amount he’ll need given the unpredictability of the weather in Washington in January. “It’s a challenging task,” said Jeffrey Barnes, professor emeritus of chemical engineering at the Stanford School of Engineering in Palo Alto, Calif. “Wind, rain, snow, cold temperatures—there are a lot of unknowns come inauguration day that could play havoc on what is arguably the most famous combover in the world.” More.
President-elect Donald Trump said he was appointing his “very good brain” to be one of his top advisors on both domestic and foreign policy. “I’ve always relied on my very good brain to decide what to do,” Trump said today at a press availability in his offices at Trump Tower in New York City. “When people would question whether I was doing the right thing or the wrong thing, I would consult my brain and do what makes most sense to it.” Trump said the policy insight of his brain is “the best ever” and there was never any doubt that he would tap his brain right from the start. “My brain has been with me from day one and it’s going to be with me from the day I take the oath of office,” he said. “It’s going to be terrific. There’s never been another advisor as good as this one. You’ll be very impressed.” More.
The erudite George Will, who has been writing about Republican politics since the mid-1970s and who declared this year he was no longer a Republican because of Donald Trump, says it’s bitter to learn he has no influence over people who vote Republican no matter how much ink is spilled or how many trees are killed to put his words into print. “After some 40 years as a political thought leader, I cannot say that anything I say has any influence on anyone at any time or in any place,” he says. “I guess that makes me a . . . nothing, because the whole rationale for my professional existence is to shape Republican attitudes and policy, and I see now that I have less influence than a truck mechanic I met in in Altoona, Pa., who persuaded his wife to vote for Donald Trump.” More.
President-elect Donald Trump said he appreciates the gracious concession call he received from his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, after the results of their bitter presidential contest were finalized. But he also said he wouldn’t have extended the same courtesy to her had he won the popular vote but lost the electoral college the way she did. “’What a rigged system!’ is how I would have put it,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News this morning. “To win more votes than the other candidate and still lose the election? Of course I would have accused the system of being rigged. Who wouldn’t? Hillary Clinton wouldn’t, that’s who. And I appreciate that.” More.
President-elect Donald Trump said at a press conference this morning that, during his 18-month campaign for office, he weakened the very foundations on which American democracy rests. He questioned the legitimacy of President Obama, threatened not to accept the election results if they didn’t go his way, denigrated the judicial system, insulted his opponents, and tacitly endorsed racist, bigoted, and misogynistic views. Even so, he’ll he a good leader of the very institutions he tried to undermine. “I had to get to this point first,” he told reporters at the press conference. “I didn’t want to pull the rug out from underneath our democracy, but how else was I going to win? Believe me, it makes it that much harder for me to govern now that I’m here. But I had to do what I had to do.” More.
With all signs pointing to a historic drop in the stock market should he win election, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has begun calling the crash the “Obama Crash,” which he says is due to the country’s anemic growth under the Democratic president. “This crash, when it happens, will be the fault of Hillary Clinton’s president, because he never got the economy growing when he was in the White House,” Trump said today at a rally in Altoona, Pa. “The guy was a community organizer. He couldn’t get the economy growing after he crashed the economy eight years ago. We shouldn’t be surprised, folks. We saw this coming.” More.