A soon-to-be-released book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reveals that former President Donald Trump had an unhealthy obsession with hyper-masculinity and frequently mocked those who were gay behind their backs.
The book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, describes how the former president frequently engaged in guessing games about people’s sexual orientations. In the early 1980s, when the AIDS virus began spreading in New York City, Trump reportedly used to phone reporters to find out if people he’d met and shook hands with were gay.
According to Haberman, Trump’s conversations with associates would frequently lead toward “lurid detail[s]” of sexually explicit topics, reports The Daily Beast, which obtained some pre-release excerpts of Haberman’s book.
“Those who heard him speak were often struck by the fact that he appeared to be trying to shock,” Haberman wrote.
Some former Trump employees recount how their boss would show off photos of women he knew intimately to demonstrate his “masculinity.”
“They also recalled Trump mocking gay men, or men who were seen as weak, with the words ‘queer’ or ‘faggot,'” Haberman wrote.
While Trump has earned praise, especially from gay conservatives, for being the first Republican president to support marriage equality and for efforts to decriminalize homosexuality abroad, many of the allegations in Haberman’s book echo claims made by his former “fixer” Michael Cohen, who claimed last year that the former president is “repulsed” by LGBTQ people.
The former president allegedly bullied gay people, but never to their faces, only behind their backs.
In particular, former Trump Organization executive Alan Marcus said Trump would “belittle” another executive whom Trump was gay as a “queer” and “bragged that he paid the executive less.”
Haberman also explains in the book how the former president would obsess over whether or not people in his social and professional circles were gay. For example, during a meeting with former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-communications campaign boss Jason Miller, Trump said that the latter “likes the ladies.”
According to the book, he allegedly said of Miller: “You know how sometimes someone turns out to be gay later and you knew? This guy, he isn’t even like one percent gay.”
The book also claims Trump was coarse and crude when referring to LGBTQ people or issues in private.
According to an excerpt from the book, while preparing to debate Hillary Clinton for the second time in 2016, then-adviser Reince Priebus presented Trump with a mock question posed by an imaginary audience member on transgender access to bathrooms.
Assuming the role of a female transgender college student, Priebus asked Trump whether the hypothetical student should be allowed to use female-designated bathrooms.
“Cocked or de-cocked?” Trump reportedly asked.
Offering up a “blank stare,” the debate prep group was allegedly taken aback by the response.
“De-cocked?” an unspecified individual in the room responded.
Trump then began making a chopping gesture, asking: “With cock or without cock?”
At that point, Trump’s advisers realized he was asking whether the student had medically transitioned to become female.
One adviser reportedly said: “What difference does that make?” The president then responded that whether the student had undergone bottom surgery would impact his answer.
“What if a girl was in the bathroom and someone came in, lifted up a skirt, and a schlong was hanging out?” Trump said, according to Haberman’s book.
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