The New York Times reports: The intense ambitions and undisciplined behaviors of Mr. Trump have confounded even those close to him, especially as his presidential campaign comes to a tumultuous end, and he confronts the possibility of the most stinging defeat of his life. But in the more than five hours of conversations — the last extensive biographical interviews Mr. Trump granted before running for president — a powerful driving force emerges: his deep-seated fear of public embarrassment.
The recordings reveal a man who is fixated on his own celebrity, anxious about losing his status and contemptuous of those who fall from grace. They capture the visceral pleasure he derives from fighting, his willful lack of interest in history, his reluctance to reflect on his life and his belief that most people do not deserve his respect.
In the interviews, Mr. Trump makes clear just how difficult it is for him to imagine — let alone accept — defeat.
“I never had a failure,” Mr. Trump said in one of the interviews, despite his repeated corporate bankruptcies and business setbacks, “because I always turned a failure into a success.”
When people lose face, Mr. Trump’s reaction is swift and unforgiving.
And when Mr. Trump feels he has been made a fool of, his response can be volcanic. Ivana Trump told Mr. D’Antonio [the author of a biography of Trump called The Truth About Trump] about a Colorado ski vacation she took with Mr. Trump soon after they began dating. The future Mrs. Trump had not told her boyfriend that she was an accomplished skier. As she recalls it, Mr. Trump went down the hill first and waited for her at the bottom:
IVANA TRUMP: So he goes and stops, and he says, “Come on, baby. Come on, baby.” I went up. I went two flips up in the air, two flips in front of him. I disappeared. Donald was so angry, he took off his skis, his ski boots, and walked up to the restaurant. … He could not take it. He could not take it. [Continue reading…]