5 Shocking Family Secrets Trump Doesn't Want You To Know
The media has done a good job of turning over every aspect of Donald Trump's presidency, from his businesses to his lifestyle to his awful property portfolio to the way he tears up government papers like a toddler. The news has already breached most of his secrets -- now it's just a matter of proving them, and then the slightly trickier matter of convincing people to care. Note that we said "most of Trump's secrets." Woo boy, there are a lot ...
Trump Owes His Entire Fortune to His Father
There's not a single person alive who believes Trump's claim that the only help he ever got from his father, Fred Trump, was a "small loan" of $1 million. What is surprising, however, is how vast and sprawling the real figure is. He didn't get $2 million. Or three. Or ten. Trump got much, much more ... including every single success he's ever experienced.
As The New York Times revealed in October 2018, Fred bequeathed his son a total of $413 million -- the culmination of a series of payouts that began the moment Donald was born. By the age of three, Donald was being paid an annual salary of $200,000 by his father as part of a massive tax avoidance scheme, an arrangement which made Donald a millionaire by the age of eight.
The vast majority of this windfall came to Donald after he and his siblings helped Fred and Mary (his mother) dodge millions in taxes through various shady means:
[Donald] set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents ... helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more ... helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents' real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns.
This helps explain why Fred (uh ... "possibly") went through so much trouble to get Donald declared medically exempt from service in Vietnam. It wasn't out of fatherly love; it was because he didn't want his tax loophole to be filled full of actual holes outside Khe Sanh.
In 1990, Trump Castle was in dire need of a quick cash infusion. How could a casino not have stacks of cash laying around, you ask? Because Donald's other casino, the Taj Mahal, had defaulted on its debt and was monopolizing the family's coffers. Donald asked his dad to bail him out, which he did, to the tune of $3.3 million. In order to avoid having his money get scooped up by the Taj Mahal, however, Fred sent one of his guys to buy up $3.3 million in casino chips down at the Castle. This payout would -- assuming no one ever spent those chips -- provide the Castle with some cash to see off its interest payments. If you think that this sounds a little shady, good news! The New Jersey Casino Control Commission did too, calling it an illegal loan that needed to be repaid. (Donald and the NJCCC eventually settled on a repayment of $65,000.)
Maybe this is why Trump is so cagey about declaring his actual wealth. He's not embarrassed at thought of "only" being a multi-millionaire; he's afraid that his dad's ghost might discover his comical destruction of the family fortune and forgo another shouting match with Woody Guthrie in order to spend the rest of Donald's life haunting his ass.
Surprise! Melania Is Also A Massive Asshole!
In June 2018, Melania Trump paid a visit to one of her husband's concentration camps wearing a jacket that read "I really don't care, do u?" and kick-started a media shitstorm. We don't visit many concentration camps, but we'd consider a "more sympathetic" outfit to involve a balaclava, some bolt cutters, and a sack of Molotovs.
At the time, a spokesperson responded by saying that this was nothing but a fashion faux pas, and that "there was no hidden message." But wait! A few months later, Melania herself revealed that the jacket was indeed a clapback against the media for criticizing her -- a thing that never happened to Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, or Hillary Whatshername. She could've made this stand while not visiting a child concentration camp, or she could have instructed her media team not to lie about it (which completely defeats the purpose of a clapback, by the way), but hey-ho.
That's the thing, though. Melania is just as big an asshole as Donald. She's simply got better PR.
We've talked before about how Melania made upwards of $100,000 licensing photos of the First Family to the press, despite the fact that "appearing in photos" is literally part of their job. But it's not only the art of the grift that she's picked up from her husband. There's also his racist conspiracy theories! In 2011, she appeared on The Joy Behar Show to slam President Obama's recently released birth certificate as a forgery.
As deep as her animosity runs for the Obamas, Melania has since been busted for plagiarizing them twice. Barack and Michelle might be traitors who usurped the nation in order to seize power and install a grand caliphate ("might," but ... y'know, probably not), but we guess they write some damn good copy.
She hasn't merely co-opted the Obama's words. All evidence suggests that she's also co-opted her husband's talk of left-wing conspiracies, media bias, fake news, and general dickotry to the media. Prior to announcing her "BeBest" campaign, Melania denounced a profile of her published in GQ by journalist Julia Ioffe as "another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting." When this led to Ioffe receiving everything from death threats to anti-Semitic abuse, Melania abdicated any responsibility by arguing that Ioffe had "provoked them."
And then there's her stern conviction that the numerous allegations of sexual assault made against Trump are complete fabrications -- which is big if true, considering that the most substantial evidence for these claims comes from, um, Donald Trump.
Trump Has Shat On Donald Jr. For His Entire Life
Donald Trump Jr. is a heinous human being. But it's important to note that his childhood was less Richie Rich and more Full Metal Jacket, but with Max Headroom playing the psychotic drill sergeant.
From birth, Donald Jr. had a target pinned on his back. When Ivana suggested naming him after his father, Donald was incensed -- "You can't do that! What if he's a loser?" Things didn't get easier as he grew up, either. His father gave him the nickname "Donny," which is nice ... and also a subtle insult, considering that in The Art Of The Deal, Trump talked at length about his undying hatred for the nickname "Donny."
The insults weren't always that subtle. As Jr. described in an interview with CNBC, Trump would subject him to Gone Girl levels of psychological games:
"Seven o'clock in the morning, I'm going to school -- hugs, kisses, and he used to say a couple things. 'No smoking, no drinking, no drugs.' But then he followed up with: 'Don't. Trust. Anyone. Ever.' And, you know, he'd follow it up two seconds later with, 'So do you trust me?' I'd say, 'Of course, you're my dad.' He'd say, 'What did I just-' You know, he thought I was a total failure. He goes, 'My son's a loser, I guess.' It's not something you tell a four-year-old, right? But it really means something to him."
If Trump Sr. hadn't made his disdain for his own son obvious by this point, he certainly rammed that message home when he and Ivana were getting divorced. As Ivana described it, Trump soft-kidnapped Jr. and threatened to keep him unless she yielded to his demands. When Ivana told him to get stuffed, he released Jr. and ordered him to return to his mother, figuring he was only worth something when his gaudy-ass home improvements were on the line.
His "Coat Of Arms" Is Bullshit
Trump wants notoriety, he wants prestige, he wants to be a somebody. And so it must've hurt like a bitch when he bought the closest thing to class and still got told to GTFO.
When Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago, he inadvertently took ownership of the coat of arms belonging to its previous owner, Joseph Edward Davies -- an ambassador who was himself gifted that coat of arms in 1939. Trump immediately seized the opportunity to claim some kind of noble heritage and took the heraldry for his own, albeit with one minor amendment. He removed the original motto, which read "Integritas" (Latin for "integrity"), and replaced it with "Trump," because reality is now apparently directed by Aaron Sorkin.
The Trump Organization immediately plastered the crest everywhere it could -- flags, brochures, shampoo bottles, fake war monuments -- and the grift seemed to be working. That is, until they tried to use it to promote his golf courses in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Those folks take these things pretty seriously, it turns out, and they ordered him to stop using the crest immediately.
Trump did eventually get a crest flying over his clubs. He only managed that, however, by altering the original so much that, legally speaking, it wasn't the authentic coat of arms anymore. Moreover, when the Trump Organization was asked about the redesign, they denied that there'd been any problem with the original, and that the changes were nothing more than Trump wanting to reflect his roots. (We're assuming he colored the whole thing orange and shrunk the lion's paws by about 200 percent).
Trump's Grandfather Kick-Started The Family Fortune With A Brothel
Pop quiz: How did the Trump family make its first dollar? (The people who read the title of this entry better not miss this one.) Property? Shady, barely legal means? Taking advantage of people? If you said any of these, congratulations! It was all three!
Trump's grandfather, Friedrich, emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1885 with the intention of making it big. Eventually, he wound up in the backwoods of British Columbia -- more specifically, the town of Bennett. As a major thoroughfare for prospectors, Bennett was ripe for development, and Friedrich was soon running The Arctic, a restaurant and bar that no doubt served the rootinest, tootinest, poutinest taco bowls that side of the border.
Oh, and a brothel.
Knowing his market, Friedrich built several "private boxes for ladies and parties" on the upper floors of The Arctic, complete with bed and a set of scales that were used to weigh and measure gold dust -- the principal form of currency for transactions of this nature. Although this type of business wasn't unusual for the time (duh), The Arctic was notable amongst locals and travelers for how particularly grim it was. As one letter from the time describes:
I would advise respectable women traveling alone, or with an escort, to be careful in their selection of hotels at Bennett. [The Arctic should be avoided] as they are liable to hear that which would be repugnant to their feelings and uttered, too, by the depraved of their own sex.
A Trump property with a seedy reputation where women didn't feel safe? We're glad someone documented this, or else we'd never believe it.
After a newly built railroad allowed miners to bypass Bennett, Friedrich dismantled The Arctic and rebuilt it -- and its "guest suites" -- further down the line, where it proved (again) to be a major success. Friedrich soon abandoned his chosen profession of mack daddy and attempted to return to Germany with his fortune, whereupon he was swiftly exiled for dodging the draft, because some things are just genetic. Friedrich settled in New York, and began buying up the city's burgeoning real estate, a business that he eventually passed to his son, Fred, who eventually passed it to his son, Donald.
Think about it, though: If it wasn't for an overzealous German bureaucrat, Friedrich would've settled back in Germany, and we could have avoided all of this. Germany might have handled this awful family better, right?
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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