Marie Brenner's 1990 profile of Donald Trump for Vanity Fair captured the real estate mogul in turmoil, as he struggled to hold onto his empire amid a nasty divorce fight. It's a juicy piece, but one anecdote in particular stands out: that Trump owned a copy of Adolf Hitler's speeches and allegedly read them for inspiration:
Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler's collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler's speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.
"Wow," you're thinking. "But did Trump also respond to this allegation in a shady and kind of revealing way?"
"Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?" I asked Trump.
Trump hesitated. "Who told you that?"
"I don't remember," I said.
"Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he's a Jew." ("I did give him a book about Hitler," Marty Davis said. "But it was My New Order, Hitler's speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I'm not Jewish.")
Later, Trump returned to this subject. "If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them."
Trump's best defense, as is often the case, is total ignorance. His Art of the Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz told The New Yorker in July, "I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life."
Read the rest of "The Trump Files":
- Trump Files #1: The Time Andrew Dice Clay Thanked Donald for the Hookers
- Trump Files #2: When Donald Tried to Stop Charlie Sheen's Marriage to Brooke Mueller
- Trump Files #3: The Brief Life of the "Trump Chateau for the Indigent"
- Trump Files #4: Donald Thinks Asbestos Fears Are a Mob Conspiracy
- Trump Files #5: Donald's Nuclear Negotiating Fantasy
- Trump Files #6: Donald Wants a Powerball for Spies
- Trump Files #7: Donald Gets An Allowance
- Trump Files #8: The Time He Went Bananas on a Water Cooler
- Trump Files #9: The Great Geico Boycott
- Trump Files #10: Donald Trump, Tax-Hike Crusader
- Trump Files #11: Watch Donald Trump Say He Would Have Done Better as a Black Man
- Trump Files #12: Donald Can't Multiply 17 and 6
- Trump Files #13: Watch Donald Sing the "Green Acres" Theme Song in Overalls
- Trump Files #14: The Time Donald Trump Pulled Over His Limo to Stop a Beating
- Trump Files #15: When Donald Wanted to Help the Clintons Buy Their House
- Trump Files #16: He Once Forced a Small Business to Pay Him Royalties for Using the Word "Trump"
- Trump Files #17: He Dumped Wine on an "Unattractive Reporter"
- Trump Files #18: Behold the Hideous Statue He Wanted to Erect In Manhattan
- Trump Files #19: When Donald Was "Principal for a Day" and Confronted by a Fifth-Grader
- Trump Files #20: In 2012, Trump Begged GOP Presidential Candidates to Be Civil
- Trump Files #21: When Donald Couldn't Tell the Difference Between Gorbachev and an Impersonator
- Trump Files #22: His Football Team Treated Its Cheerleaders "Like Hookers"
- Trump Files #23: The Trump Files: Donald Tried to Shut Down a Bike Race Named "Rump"
- Trump Files #24: When Donald Called Out Pat Buchanan for Bigotry
- Trump Files #25: Donald's Most Ridiculous Appearance on Howard Stern's Show
- Trump Files #26: How Donald Tricked New York Into Giving Him His First Huge Deal
- Trump Files #27: Donald Told Congress the Reagan Tax Cuts Were Terrible
- Trump Files #28: When Donald Destroyed Historic Art to Build Trump Tower
- Trump Files #29: Donald Wanted to Build an Insane Castle on Madison Avenue
- Trump Files #30: Donald's Near-Death Experience (That He Invented)
- Trump Files #31: When Donald Struck Oil on the Upper West Side
- Trump Files #32: When Donald Massacred Trees in the Trump Tower Lobby
- Trump Files #33: When Donald Demanded Other People Pay for His Overpriced Quarterback
- Trump Files #34: The Time Donald Sued Someone Who Made Fun of Him for $500 Million
- Trump Files #35: Donald Tried to Make His Ghostwriter Pay for His Book Party
- Trump Files #36: Watch Donald Shave a Man's Head on Television
- Trump Files #37: How Donald Helped Make It Harder to Get Football Tickets
- Trump Files #38: Donald Was Curious About His Baby Daughter's Breasts
- Trump Files #39: When Democrats Courted Donald
- Trump Files #40: Watch the Trump Vodka Ad Designed for a Russian Audience
- Trump Files #41: Donald's Cologne Smelled of Jamba Juice and Strip Clubs
- Trump Files #42: Donald Sued Other People Named Trump for Using Their Own Name
- Trump Files #43: Donald Thinks Asbestos Would Have Saved the Twin Towers
- Trump Files #44: Why Donald Threw a Fit Over His "Trump Tree" in Central Park
- Trump Files #45: Watch Trump Endorse Slim Shady for President
- Trump Files #46: The Easiest 13 Cents He Ever Made
- Trump Files #47: The Time Donald Burned a Widow's Mortgage
- Trump Files #48: Donald's Recurring Sex Dreams
- Trump Files #49: Trump's Epic Insult Fight With Ed Koch
- Trump Files #50: Donald Has Some Advice for Citizen Kane
- Trump Files #51: Donald Once Turned Down a Million-Dollar Bet on "Trump: The Game"
- Trump Files #52: When Donald Tried to Shake Down Mike Tyson for $2 Million
- Trump Files #53: Donald and Melania's Creepy, Sex-Filled Interview With Howard Stern
- Trump Files #54: Donald's Mega-Yacht Wasn't Big Enough For Him
- Trump Files #55: When Donald Got in a Fight With Martha Stewart
- Trump Files #56: Donald Reenacts an Iconic Scene From Top Gun
- Trump Files #57: How Donald Tried to Hide His Legal Troubles to Get His Casino Approved
- Trump Files #58: Donald's Wall Street Tower Is Filled With Crooks
- Trump Files #59: When Donald Took Revenge by Cutting Off Health Coverage for a Sick Infant
- Trump Files #60: Donald Couldn't Name Any of His "Handpicked" Trump U Professors
- Trump Files #61: Watch a Clip of the Awful TV Show Trump Wanted to Make About Himself
- Trump Files #62: Donald Perfectly Explains Why He Doesn't Have a Presidential Temperament
- Trump Files #63: Donald's Petty Revenge on Connie Chung
- Trump Files #64: Why Donald Called His 4-Year-Old Son a "Loser"
- Trump Files #65: The Time Donald Called Some of His Golf Club Members "Spoiled Rich Jewish Guys"
- Trump Files #66: "Always Be Around Unsuccessful People," Donald Recommends
- Trump Files #67: Donald Said His Life Was "Shit." Here's Why.
- Trump Files #68: Donald Filmed a Music Video. It Didn't Go Well.
- Trump Files #69: Donald Claimed "More Indian Blood" Than the Native Americans Competing With His Casinos
- Trump Files #70: Donald Has Been Inflating His Net Worth for 40 Years
- Trump Files #71: Donald Weighs In on "Ghetto Supastar"
- Trump Files #72: The Deadly Powerboat Race Donald Hosted in Atlantic City
- Trump Files #73: When Donald Fat-Shamed Miss Universe
- Trump Files #74: Yet Another Time Donald Sued Over the Word "Trump"
- Trump Files #75: Donald Thinks Exercising Might Kill You