Someone at Quora.com asked if anyone had actually met and spent time with Donald Trump and, if so, what was he like in person? Here’s what people said.
1. He Hit On A Beauty Pageant Contestant
My mom judged with him at a Hawaiian Tropic beauty pageant during the late 1980’s. She got to do this because she knew the founder and owner of Hawaiian Tropic, Ron Rice, very well. She said he is very cunning very shrewd, and will find a way to get his way. He is also a very kind man. But the ultimate winner of the contest was hit upon by Mr. Trump. She was from Israel and he invited her to his hotel room. I’m not sure though if it was for business but who knows.
2. He Paid For A Janitor’s Vacation
While I personally have never met The Donald himself, I had a high school marketing teacher whose son worked for one of the trump golf courses. He met Donald on many occasion and said he was a genuinely good guy who seemed to care about his employers and how thing were going with their work, and truly treated everyone like they mattered.
Our teacher told us that their was janitor for the golf course and didn’t make much money. Mr. Trump saw him one day and asked him when the last time he had a vacation for him and his family, and he told Trump it had been about 5 years since he took a vacation, and that even though he had vacation days he couldn’t afford to take any time off.
Trump came back for Christmas that was and paid for him and his wife and children to go on an all expenses paid trip to Italy and upped his salary and gave him weekends off so he could spend more time with his kids. Ive never met Donald and many people will never give him a fair chance because of some of the things he does and says, but I personally have a very positive view of Trump. And hopefully this contribution can somewhat change your view or at least help you see a certain side of him.
3. HE DOESN’T CARE IF HE’S ON THE LIST
About two years ago I was doing digital check-ins for a ritzy party in a NYC park — in an enormous, climate-controlled, popup tent. Trump walks in the front flap and jokingly asks me if I was “blogging”. He then went inside without stopping to let me check to see if he was on the list first.
4. CUTTHROAT BUT INTELLIGENT
I met Donald Trump back in 2000 at a motivational seminar in Atlanta.At that time he came across as a very cut-throat but intelligent businessman. At the seminar his number one piece of advice for success was, “if someone screws you, get even.” Now, the more I hear him talk, the more it seems like he’s starting to go crazy.
5. HE WAS FRIENDLY TO ME AND DIDN’T KNOW ME
I met him in 1986 in NYC when I was a 24 year old newly minted stockbroker. I was looking for new clients and I joined a political club- not really having much interest at all in politics, but scanning for new business. The club had sent several volunteers for a political fundraising event, and a young Donald Trump was the keynote speaker. At the time I was a huge fan of Trump, as would be any impressionable kid looking to make his mark in the world, particularly in New York. Anyway, I was by the service elevator working the event, and next thing I know I am standing a few feet away from Donald Trump. But better yet, he is there with his wife Ivana Trump and his scrappy looking father Fred Trump, who was a very big part of the Trump legacy and has quite an amazing story of his own. I walked up to Donald Trump, held out my hand and said, ‘Hello Mr. Trump, can I shake your hand, I am a big fan of yours’. He was very kind and sent me off with a nice ‘Thank You’ and a hearty handshake, and off he went to make his speech.
6. HE’S A DESPICABLE PERSON WHO JUDGES YOU
In my 41-year-long career as a photojournalist and one of some distinction, I have never met a more rude and despicable person. Not one. In 1983 in preparation for the opening of the much heralded Trump Tower, I determined that a photo feature on the opulent new building and it’s gregarious developer would be a good story to sell worldwide. The stores inside were of a broad international collection and it seemed there was not yet in NYC anything to compare with what Trump Tower was heralding. I called the Trump organization and spoke to Trump’s right hand woman, Norma Foerderer and told her that I had an assignment from STERN Magazine of Germany- the equivalent of LIFE magazine in the US. I explained we were doing a straight editorial piece on TT and needed a portrait of Mr. Trump in the environmental setting of the lobby area. At this time, both I and the photographer who shared the assignment with me had worked regularly with LIFE Magazine, TIME, NEWSWEEK, PARIS MATCH, etc.-the best of the best. Wayne and I arrived early and set-up our strobe lights, reflectors, umbrella’s and began taking polaroid tests of the lighting to be sure we had the right balance of light and color and background. We do this to ensure the result and to not waste the time of our usually busy subjects.
Mr. Trump arrived with his entourage a few minutes after our prescribed time and I distinctly recall seeing Ivana and Norma. He was wearing a beautiful full length blue cashmere coat. I walked over to Norma to introduce myself and tell her that we were ready for the shoot. Mr. Trump followed us to our “install”. I recall that we took one more polaroid with Mr. Trump to be sure that the lighting was just right for his reflective value- and Wayne then began to shoot with his Nikon using Kodachrome. Wayne took two shots and Mr. Trump turned and disappeared. We were dumbfounded, mouth open. He neither greeted us or said goodbye, thank you…nothing. I went to Norma and asked her “what just happened” and she said basically I’m sorry.
Thirty four years later I think I finally figured it out. First, both Wayne and I were dressed smartly, he with his signature Harris Tweed jacket and I had on a beautiful Cashmere blazer that I had purchased in Milan. I know that Mr. Trump is the kind of person who would judge people by the way they looked. I think we simply did not have enough of a staff to primp up Mr. Trump’s sense of himself. No hair stylist, no make-up, not set decorator, etc. Just not enough to make him feel compensated for his entitled self. When a photojournalist is working on a story of this type, it was generally considered inappropriate to have that type of attention; your subject needed to be seen “warts and all”. In addition, the magazines would not have allowed the expense. Shooting for a Vanity Fair or similar would be a completely different story.
I have photographed in my long career many multi-millionaires, worked the past 28-years with a very lovely multi billionaire, photographed statesmen and presidents.
I only wish the American voting public knew the real Donald Trump. That is who he is.
7. A Former Employee: “He Was Good To Me”
I met a pilot at a party some years back. He said he flew Donald Trump’s jet for a while.
I asked him with a grin: “What was that like?”
He shrugged saying: “Hey, he was good to me”.
Then he repeated what Trump said to him when he was hired. Trump told him: “The two most important people in my life are my doctor and my pilot, and I take care of them both very well.”
8. He’s Like Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
I worked in Trump Tower for 5 years … not for Donald Trump, but within his vicinity. In all of that time, I only ran into him a handful of times, but it seems that my encounters were pretty typical of the experiences most of his tenants share. When you’re one-to-one, or few-to-one with Mr. Trump, he comes across as a genuinely interested, well-mannered, business man. He asks how things are going in the building, if there’s anything he can do or improve, and he offers to help without being asked for anything. It is the opposite of how he portrays himself in the media. He’s the king of concierge. The character he portrays in the media couldn’t be more different.
…Or is the king of concierge the character, and TV-Trump really him? That’s the billion dollar question.
Mr. Trump reminds me of the child who loves attention, but doesn’t know the difference between good attention and bad attention. We all know the type; under most circumstances, that child might be a well behaved, kind, and caring, but he can turn into a monster if he realizes nobody has noticed him for 15 minutes. The key difference is that the child has plenty of time to learn, and Mr. Trump … well, he’s already learned that any attention is good attention, and the American media is to blame for that one.
It isn’t hard to see that much of Mr. Trump’s success could easily be attributed to his disparate people-skills. If he wants to do business with you, he can win you over individually, but, if he needs to get his name out there, raise his profile, distract the media, he’ll simply say something shocking, ignorant, hateful, inflammatory, ie. “newsworthy”, and, he won’t win us all over, but he’ll reach millions of ears, win some of them over, and get attention from the rest.
He’s the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of business and politics.
I have nothing bad to say about Dr. Jekyll, but don’t get me started on Mr. Hyde.
9. He’s Definitely A Germaphobe
I did not meet him personally but rather listened carefully to a first hand account from two of my co-workers who were at his office to close the deal for some telecommunications services being wired into Trump Towers.
First of all, they were made to wait beyond the assigned meeting time until his assistant felt they had grown sufficiently impatient. He then went to fetch “The Donald.” (It’s a psychological ploy… One feels relief at a small victory that the subject had actually appeared).
When the contract had been signed by both parties (Trump refuses to shake hands, BTW – he’s a germaphobe), my co-workers requested a publicity release and endorsement. At that time, Mr. Trump said, “Of course, how much will you pay me for that?”
The senior executive informed him we don’t pay for press releases. At that time, Trump got flustered and demanded the company pay for his press release, “because I’m The Donald!” My boss just sat back, half-smiled and said, “We don’t pay for press releases; we’re the [major corporate phone entity].”
Trump stopped and a slow smile came to him. He then agreed to do the publicity release without payment.
10. My Uncle Played His Daughter’s Wedding
My uncle played in the band at Donald Trump’s daughter’s wedding. He managed to exchanges some words with him, and said that Trump was an amicable personality, and complemented their performance. He was surprised at how nice the billionaire was to him.