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Playboy Interview: Donald Trump
  • April 14, 2011 : 20:04
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PLAYBOY: What's your relationship with Ivana like these days?
TRUMP: I would say it's okay. I wouldn't say outstanding, but it's okay.

PLAYBOY: Do you talk to her?
TRUMP: When necessary. I don't think she's ever properly appreciated what I've done for her, and I've done a lot, much more than she has been willing to admit.

PLAYBOY: How about Marla?
TRUMP: We have a nice relationship. Marla is a kind woman, but in all fairness she wasn't for me. She's a very spiritual person, perhaps too spiritual for me, and she's given me a great daughter in Tiffany. Marla and I should have been friends, not necessarily married.

PLAYBOY: You wrote in The Art of the Comeback that women are gold diggers. Do you still believe that?
TRUMP: I think it's hard for women who go out with very wealthy guys not to get seduced by that lifestyle—the apartments at the top of Trump Tower, the helicopters and airplanes. But I don't think all women are gold diggers. There's nothing more beautiful to me than a woman. I love and respect them. I've known a lot of really good women and have had amazing relationships over the years. But as with men, there are good ones and bad ones.

PLAYBOY: How often are you alone?
TRUMP: Lately not so much, because I live with Melania and we have a nice life together.

PLAYBOY: Do you miss the alone time? Don't you crave it occasionally?
TRUMP: Listen, Melania really understands me. She gives me tremendous space. She can read me better than anybody I've ever known. She understands when I want to be alone, and she'll just leave me. I've been with other people who would say, "Oh, you're not talking to me. Something's wrong. Why aren't we walking down the street together? Why aren't we doing this together?" But Melania can tell when I'm in the right mood. It makes life a lot easier.

PLAYBOY: Speaking of being in the mood, are you a fan of Viagra?
TRUMP: No, I'm not. I think Viagra is wonderful if you need it, if you have medical issues, if you've had surgery. I've just never needed it. Frankly, I wouldn't mind if there were an anti-Viagra, something with the opposite effect. I'm not bragging. I'm just lucky. I don't need it. I've always said, "If you need Viagra, you're probably with the wrong girl."

PLAYBOY: How appropriate is the use of sexuality in today's business world? One of the big criticisms of The Apprentice was that the women on the show shamelessly used their sex appeal to manipulate men and get what they wanted.
TRUMP: The women on the show were beautiful and very sexual, to the point where I actually took them to task for it. They were really out there for a while. But they weren't doing anything that doesn't exist in the business world. One egghead professor criticized us, saying that sort of thing doesn't take place in business. But come on, sexuality has been important since the beginning of time. If people think sex appeal doesn't exist in the boardroom, they're wrong.

PLAYBOY: The women on the show certainly seemed to be flirting with you. Did you realize that?
TRUMP: I never saw them flirt. Perhaps they were flirting with me in a business sense, but there's nothing wrong with being attractive, young and confident with the opposite sex.

PLAYBOY: What advice do you give your daughter Ivanka about men?
TRUMP: I just tell her to be careful. She's smart and beautiful, and hopefully she'll learn. But you can tell children only so much. They either get it right or they don't, and often they don't get it right.

PLAYBOY: How did she feel about your remarks on Howard Stern's radio show that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is the only man good enough for her?
TRUMP: I kid Tom, but he's a friend of mine. I think he's a great character. I got to know him when he was a judge at a jitterbug contest I entered after the Patriots won the Super Bowl. He's a winner, and by that I mean every time he needs to make the pass he makes it. You have other guys in the NFL and in life who have all the equipment but don't make the pass. I think Tom's a great guy, and I think he and Ivanka would make a great combination.

PLAYBOY: What does Ivanka think?
TRUMP: My daughter has a boyfriend and she's happy with him, but Tom Brady would make any father-in-law proud.

PLAYBOY: It must be difficult being Donald Trump's child. Your four children have security and undoubtedly all the material possessions they could ask for, but now some of them, such as Donald Jr., a Wharton graduate, are going into the family business. What's your sense of the pressure that's on them to out-Trump you?
TRUMP: I think there's pressure on them but not too much, I hope. It's not easy for them. When their father does a television show and it becomes the number one program, when their father is by far the biggest developer in New York, it's tough to beat. It's also tough to have children grow up in this crazy limelight. They've adjusted well—they're smart, they've been good students, they went to good schools—but maybe the toughest thing is to find private time with my children. Even when I take them out to a restaurant, people come up and go crazy. I've never been the kind of guy who takes his son out to Central Park to play catch, but I think I'm a good father.

PLAYBOY: What kind of son were you? Were you rebellious?
TRUMP: I was very bad. That's why my parents sent me to a military academy. I was rebellious. Not violent or anything, but I wasn't exactly well behaved. I once gave one of my teachers a black eye. I talked back to my parents and to people in general. Perhaps it was more like bratty behavior, but I certainly wasn't the perfect child.

PLAYBOY: Yet you went into the family business the minute you graduated from Wharton. And that was in 1968, when other people your age were heading to either Haight-Ashbury or Vietnam. Did you for a moment consider packing up a Volkswagen van and cruising to Woodstock?
TRUMP: No. When I graduated, it was all about work. I loved working as much as my father did, right from the start.

PLAYBOY: A psychiatrist once commented that you have an "overmastering need to escape the shadow of your father."
TRUMP: I wouldn't dispute that. I'm a competitive person. It's not an overly complex theory; I've heard it with respect to many successful sons. I totally loved my father, but I would say that in the beginning especially I was competitive with my father, yes.

PLAYBOY: How were you two different?
TRUMP: That's a tough question to answer. We had a lot of the same qualities in terms of negotiation, in terms of certain aspects of running a business. My father understood how to build, and I learned a lot from him. I learned about construction, about building. But if I had an edge over my father, it might have been in concepts—the concept of a building. It also might have been in scope. I would rather sell apartments to billionaires who want to live on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street than sell apartments to people in Brooklyn who are wonderful people but are going to chisel me down because every penny is important. My father never really got away from Brooklyn and Queens. He was very successful there, but he was more comfortable selling a piece of land in Brooklyn for $1 a foot than in Manhattan for $1,000 a foot. You have to be comfortable with what you're doing or you won't be successful. I used to stand on the other side of the East River and look at Manhattan. I'd always admired the great buildings, and now I own many of them. I own the land under the Empire State Building. I own 40 Wall Street, which for a time was the tallest building in the world and now, sadly, is the tallest building in downtown Manhattan.

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