story time
September 16, 2019

Everyone has a friend, or maybe a colleague, who repeats stories to the same audience, over and over. For the leaders of Group of Seven nations, that's President Trump, BuzzFeed news reports.

At the last two summit G-7 summit meetings, Trump reportedly told the same exact story — with the same exact punchline — about his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In brief, Trump recounted how Kim was offended specifically by Trump calling him "little," back in the day when the two leaders would spout insults at each other from afar. Trump apparently still gets a kick out of the fact that Kim, who is reportedly 5 feet 7 inches tall, was offended not by being called Rocket Man, but by the modifier.

Trump reportedly then went on a strange, non sequitur tangent about Kim during the summit that was seemingly less innocuous. He reportedly described Kim as simultaneously "brutal" and a "great guy," while pointing out he had risen to power by the age of 25 in a difficult environment. Those remarks aren't dissimilar from things Trump has said about the North Korean leader publicly, but BuzzFeed notes it's representative of how Trump's Twitter persona might not be so different from how he handles business behind closed doors. It's also seemingly an example of what impresses Trump in his fellow leaders.

"He is so fascinated with him," one source with direct knowledge of the G-7 discussions said, referring to Trump's interest in Kim. "He has a childish fascination with brutality." British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the new guy in the group, reportedly tried to engage with Trump's commentary briefly, but the other leaders reportedly just sat back in their chairs at a loss for words, a source said. Read more at BuzzFeed News. Tim O'Donnell

May 19, 2017

President Trump's one-time dabble in horse racing reportedly left a thoroughbred named "D.J. Trump" nearly dead and without front hoofs, The Washington Post reports.

While Trump denies the story as "totally unsubstantiated and false," it is recalled in a book by John O'Donnell, Trumped!, and the Post was able to confirm many details of the story. Allegedly, racehorse trader Robert LiButti, a high-roller at Trump's casinos, wanted Trump to purchase his horse with Triple Crown potential, Alibi, for $500,000. The CEO of Trump's casinos, Stephen Hyde, saw the purchase as an investment to keep LiButti visiting the casinos.

Trump agreed, but demanded the horse's name be changed to D.J. Trump. Trump (the human) then argued his name was "worth at least $250,000 ... so he should only have to pay an additional $250,000 to complete the purchase," The Washington Post writes.

Then the story gets dark:

A few days before D.J. Trump was due to head north [for races], according to O'Donnell, a virus ripped through the horse farm. D.J. Trump didn't appear sick, but the trainer Jerkens recommended postponing a final workout in Florida, and the move north, for a few weeks. If the horse was sick, the trainer said, working him out risked a high fever, and possibly death.

Trump was impatient, O'Donnell wrote. He wanted his horse racing, up north, with no delays. Hyde relayed the order reluctantly: "He wants the horse to work."

D.J. Trump's last workout in Ocala was, in Trump parlance, a total disaster. A few hours after running, the horse's legs began shaking uncontrollably, then he collapsed in a heap. D.J. Trump had contracted the virus without showing symptoms, veterinarians concluded, and the workout had exacerbated his condition. [The Washington Post]

Ultimately, D.J. Trump lived — but his front hoofs had to be amputated, and he would never race. As the story goes, Trump was "unmoved," and, as he hadn't written the $250,000 check yet, he wiggled out of the deal.

"[Trump's] cavalier attitude about the horse, I think, bothered Steve," O'Donnell told the Post. “That [Trump] didn't care, that it was just a piece of flesh … That really disturbed him." Read the full saga at The Washington Post. Jeva Lange

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