June 16, 2024

Trump’s Brags of Being Sexy, Thrifty, Fussy Are Hush Money Evidence: DA

Donald Trump.
Reuters/Jay Paul

  • On March 25, Trump faces trial in NY on 34 state felony counts of falsifying business records. 
  • The DA said Tuesday that 82 things Trump has said, from as far back as 1987, are admissible.
  • They include his boasts about his intellect and a 2018 admission that the hush money “came from me.”

Donald Trump’s lawyers and New York prosecutors are warring over the trial admissibility of 82 things he’s said over the years, including dozens of boasts about how sexy, smart, thrifty, and fussy he is — plus his incriminating 2018 admission that the hush-money payment “came from me.”

The defense says the statements are “irrelevant, stale, and cumulative.” But prosecutors say they are absolutely relevant, especially this one, from an August 23, 2018 interview Trump gave Fox & Friends reporter Ainsley Earhardt:

“They didn’t come out of the campaign,” Trump said in the interview, referring to the payment at the center of the upcoming hush money trial, set to start March 25 in Manhattan.

“They came from me, and I tweeted about it,” Trump told Earhardt.

The hush money payments “came from me,” Donald Trump told Fox & Friends in 2018.
Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

In the Fox interview, Trump brushed off the $130,000 he paid to silence Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election, calling it merely a personal expenditure, and not a campaign expense he’d have been obligated to report.

“In fact, my first question when I heard about it was, did they come out of the campaign, because that could look a little dicey and they didn’t come out of the campaign and that’s big, but they weren’t, that’s not a, it’s not even a campaign violation,” Trump told the Fox host.

Prosecutors for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg want the option of showing Trump’s “it came from me” admission to jurors as proof, in the former president’s own words, that he personally handled the payment.

Prosecutors also want the option of showing jurors dozens of Trump’s public boasts from over the years, in which he brags about his sex appeal, his knowledge of tax and campaign finance law, and his obsessive micromanagement of money.

Read the 82 Trump statements prosecutors want to show hush money jurors here.

Such statements could come into play if Trump claims at trial he is not a womanizer and was too busy or too ignorant to have intentionally falsified Trump Organization records to hide an illegal payment to Daniels.

“I think nobody knows more about campaign finance than I do, because I’m the biggest contributor,” reads one statement, from Trump’s 1999 interview with Larry King, that prosecutors say they may use at trial.

In several of the statements prosecutors may use, Trump boasts of how attractive he is.

“I think of myself as the best-looking guy and it is no secret that I love beautiful women,” reads one, from Trump’s 2007 book, “Think Big — Make it Happen in Business and in Life.”

The 82 statements include descriptions of Trump’s vigilant penny-pinching that border on the ridiculous.

In “The Art of the Deal,” in 1987, Trump said that when he bought the building, Trump Parc East on Central Park South, he switched to lower-wattage hallway lightbulbs and “saved a small fortune in dry-cleaning bills” by getting rid of the “fancy uniforms” worn by doormen.

“I always sign my checks, so I know where my money is going,” he said in his 2004 book, “Think Like a Billionaire.”

He spent “a good eight months” choosing the ballroom chairs for Mar-a-Lago, he said in the same book.

Former President Donald Trump’s braggadocious history may be a problem for him.

Trump has also bragged about pinching literal pennies: 50 of them, to be exact.

“When Spy magazine started years ago, they decided to do a ‘Who Is the Cheapest Millionaire” test, Trump said some 30 pages later in the book.

“They sent checks in amounts from fifty cents to five dollars to a list of millionaires throughout the country.

“I received a check for fifty cents, and we at the Trump Organization deposited it,” he said, adding, “They may call that cheap. I call it watching the bottom line.”

In “Trump: How to Get Rich,” another 2004 book, he advised, “If you don’t know every aspect of what you’re doing, down to the paper clips, you’re setting yourself up for some unwelcome surprises.”

He adds some 100 pages later, “It’s a good thing I’m an active type, or this might tire me out.”

In other statements prosecutors say they may use as trial evidence, Trump shows his vindictive side, including his warnings, “I just can’t stomach the disloyalty,” and “I love getting even when I get screwed by someone.”

Trump’s past warnings of swift retribution against all who wrong him could come into play at trial if he argues that Daniels was quietly paid a six-figure sum to silence her claims of having had an affair with him in 2006, even though her claims were false.

If Daniels was shaking him down unjustly, why go along with it? Why part with $130,000? Why not go on the attack?

“There are many bad people out there who want to take you for every penny you have,” Trump complained in a statement prosecutors want to use, also from his book “Think Big.”

“If you are stupid and gullible it is only a matter of time before someone takes your money,” he wrote. “So watch your step and pay attention.”

Trump’s side has argued that the 82 statements, some of them decades old, should be excluded from the trial.

Failing that, they have asked state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who will be the trial judge, to make prosecutors explain, statement by statement, how each would be used at trial.

Trump has also argued that the books he sold under his name were actually written by ghostwriters.

But any defense objections to any of Trump’s own statements being used against him should be raised “if and when the People move to admit this statement, and the Court can address it then,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo wrote the judge.

The judge has not said when he will rule on the statements.

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