If you were to ask former US presidents why they chose to get into politics, I would venture to say that you would get a variety of answers to choose from, but most, if not all, would be in a similar vein — to help people, for the love of this country, to enact change, etc.
But Donald J. Trump isn’t just any former US president. Trump has, as expected, shaped up to be one of if not the single worst to ever happen to this country, and continues to wreak havoc on its people with each passing day, even also two years after his humiliating election loss and subsequent eviction from the White House.
So, when Donald Trump was questioned as to his personal driving force behind his decision to get into the political scene, we knew it would be distasteful, as best. But, to be frank, we weren’t expecting it to be this… Bad.
The former president’s unsettling admission came during an interview he sat for with New York Times correspondent and so-called “Trump Whisperer,” Maggie Haberman, for her new forthcoming tell-all book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.
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Excerpts of Maggie’s upcoming book have been hitting the media cycle in recent days and CNN’s Chris Cillizza found himself particularly struck by one particular revelation.
In her book, Haberman recalls the ex-president telling her:
The question I get asked more than any other question: ‘If you had it to do again, would you have done it?’The answer is, yeah, I think so. Because here’s the way I look at it. I have so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are.”
Cillizza analyzed this particular excerpt from Maggie’s tell-all and noted that the admission was a particularly candid and alarming one, even coming from the likes of Donald Trump.
“OK. So, just to be crystal clear here — Trump is saying that if he had it to do all over, he would run for president again because it made him more famous,” Cillizza writes of the unsettling Trump revelation. “That the key motivation for him to run for president was to be well-known — and it worked.”
“That’s a startlingly honest admission — even for Trump,” he went on to add. “He didn’t even attempt to go for a more traditional answer like, I don’t know, helping people or seeing policies he believed in enacted and executed. Just right to the purely personal.”
Cillizza noted that, in addition to highlighting Trump’s current state of mind (and a stark reminder of what his first four-year term was like,) the admission also shed disturbing light on what awaits us behind the doors of a second Trump term.
“At the start of his presidency, there was an active debate as to whether Trump would bend his way to the conventions of the presidency or whether he would force the presidency to warp to his will,” he writes. “Looking back in hindsight, it’s clear Trump did the latter, forcing his desire for fame and power onto the White House for four years. To think anything would be different if he gets four more years in the job after the 2024 election is a fool’s errand.”
If that doesn’t leave you unsettled, I don’t know what will.