Barbara Res worked for Donald Trump for over a decade, starting in 1980, serving as vice president, senior vice president and executive vice president of the Trump Organization. Trump often invokes his hiring of Res as proof that he’s long been a champion of women — something he’s has had to be quite defensive about lately, given his sexist attacks on the campaign trail, his immense unpopularity among women voters and his campaign manager’s mistreatment of female reporters.
Res, who chronicled her experience working for Trump in her book All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of Construction, spoke to Rolling Stone about her experiences, including the time Trump refused to eat lunch with an “ugly” female colleague and comments he made about her weight.
Were you surprised by the image Trump retweeted comparing Heidi Cruz’s appearance to Melania Trump’s, or did that seem pretty par for the course given what you saw of his attitudes toward women?
I was not surprised, no. Here’s a story: We were working on this big project on the West Side [the ill-fated Trump City, now known at Riverside South] and there were a lot of influential people opposing the project. We ended up trying to make an agreement with this consortium of people. There was a very, very important woman on the side of the group that was opposing us, and Donald had to have lunch with her. He said she was very, very ugly and he didn’t want to be seen sitting alone with her on his perch at the Plaza Hotel, so he made me go to the meeting with him.
Was the idea that if you were there it wouldn’t be construed as a date?
That [no one would think] he would be with such an ugly woman. It was just so ridiculous.
He always used to criticize men and women. He was very tough on fat people.
Do you remember anyone he targeted in particular?
There was one guy who worked for the city who Donald referred to as “the fat fuck,” but I don’t think you can print that. That’s how we grew to know him — not by his name, but as “the fat fuck.”
Also, we had a guy who was a lawyer for us and he was overweight, and Donald made a comment to him like, “You really like your Snickers, huh?” or something like that. He even said things like that to me. At one point I had gained a lot of weight, I was still working for him as a consultant, and he made a comment about my weight.
Did you ever see anyone stand up to him over a comment like that?
Over that kind of comment? No. Why would you? I mean, there is nothing to be gained from that — standing up to him on other things [maybe], but not that.
It sounds like he was kind of a bully.
Eh, not so much a bully — more of a loudmouth.