Donald Trump Lets His Hair Down

A conversation with the host of The Celebrity Apprentice

May 11, 2011 10:00 AM ET
The Golden Throne: Trump in New York in April
The Golden Throne: Trump in New York in April
Photograph by Peter Yang

Like you, we've always wondered what's inside Donald Trump's wallet. So, on a recent visit to his office at the top of Trump Tower in Manhattan, the epicenter of his vast real estate empire and putative presidential ambitions, we ask him if we can take a look. He pulls it out, dips it down and hides it behind his huge desk, peers inside, saying, "Let me just see if there's anything ... ," and then holds it out, fanning through it, revealing his Winged Foot Golf Club membership card and his very own gun permit, neither of which he apparently ever leaves home without.

"It's a Donald J. Trump wallet," he says, happily. He's still a fairly big, fairly imposing guy at age 64, has hair that's the patriotic shade of amber waves of grain, dresses like men of the world used to dress, in a dark suit, with a crisp, white shirt and a tie that's the subtlest pink ever. "We sell them at Macy's. They sell great. Hey — I have the number-one-selling tie in the country. What color tie do you like? Your tie looks like shit. Do you want a tie? It's not a bribe. They're nothing. I sell shirts, PVH, Phillips-Van Heusen. Cuff links." He waves his arms around, shoots his cuffs to show off glittering cuff links. "Trump cuff links!" he shouts. "They're magnificent! Everybody's buying them! If I said I got them at Harry Winston, for $100,000, you'd believe it! Forty-nine dollars at Macy's! Macy's doesn't even want to carry other brands! We blow them out!"

This article appears in the May 26, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone. The issue is available now on newsstands and will appear in the online archive May 13.

That's pure Trump-speak — loud, over-the-top, just the kind of Ronco Veg-o-Matic, everyone's-a-mark, carny-barker, hard-sell ballyhoo that he hopes will also blow out the other presidential hopefuls, should he decide to run. But will he run? He says the world will know his answer by June — at which time, if he announces in the affirmative, he will also reveal the true size of his financials, which, he says, will shock the world, being around $7 billion, if not more, and make Mitt Romney, with his measly hundred millions, look like a floppy little fish indeed and certainly not the kind of guy who, for instance, could spin the roulette wheel on ties and cuff links and make gazillions.

Photo Gallery: The Many Business Failures of Donald Trump

"We need a businessman," Trump says, working himself into a lather of self-congratulation, "and I've been successful. Right now, I have the greatest properties in the country. I have great stuff. The point is, I'm running for office in a country that's essentially bankrupt, and it needs a successful businessman, and, by the way, let me explain about one thing, might as well get that clear: I never went bankrupt."

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