The Trump Files: Donald Said His Life Was “Shit.” Here’s Why.

Mother Jones Illustration; Shuttershock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on September 7, 2016.
“I’d often say, loud enough…for anyone standing in the hall outside my office to hear me, ‘My life is shit,’” wrote Donald in Surviving at the Top, his 1990 book. It was understandable. At the time, he was fighting to keep his businesses from falling apart under huge debts. But that wasn’t the calamity that was making Trump’s life pure hell. It was having to attend high-society social events.
“My nine-to-five day fascinated and energized me,” Trump wrote of his burdens. “But then, late in the afternoon, I’d often get a call from Ivana, reminding me of that night’s engagement. ‘You’ll be sitting next to Lord Somebody-or-Other at such-and-such an event,’ she’d say—and I’d suddenly feel like a low-level employee who’d just been handed some meaningless, mind-numbing assignment.”
The pair would fight and Trump would usually cave, he wrote, “because I didn’t want to disappoint or embarrass her.” Then Donald would hang up the phone and proclaim his life shit for all his staff to hear. Eventually, being forced to go out at night helped convince Trump that the marriage wasn’t working: “You have only one life, and that’s simply not how I wanted to live mine,” he wrote.