The New York Times conducted 50 interviews with women who had close relationships with Donald Trump over the years and men who watched these interactions unfold to paint what is ultimately an unsettling picture of the presumptive Republican candidate for president. When tied with court and public records the accounts “reveal unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct.”
At the same time, Trump can hardly be seen as a one-dimensional character because even as he never appeared to hesitate before uttering sexist comments or treating women like property, he also promoted women to the highest echelons of his organization in an industry that was overwhelmingly male.
Some of the most shocking stories reveal a few clear patterns:
- It’s OK to tell women what they should eat if you know better. “He would’ve said that out of love,” Trump said of his father trying to order for Ivana Trump. “He would have said that only on the basis that he thought, ‘That would be better for her.’”
- Trump puts his lips anywhere he wants. Temple Taggart says she was shocked at how he greeted her when she was a 21-year-old Miss Utah in 1997. “He kissed me directly on the lips,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, gross.’ He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth.” Trump denies that was the case.
- Trump is open about his obsession with looks. It wasn’t rare for Trump to interrupt business meetings wih a random, out of the blue thought about women’s bodies. “They take care of their asses,” he once said out of nowhere to describe the women in Marina del Rey, Calif. Even the women Trump evidently respected for their professional skills weren’t immune. “You like your candy,” Trump once told Barbara Res, his head of construction during the 1980s. “It was him reminding me that I was overweight,” she said.
- He likes to be reassured the women in his life are beautiful (even his own daughter). Trump once allegedly asked a Miss Universe for her opinion on his daughter’s body. “Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?” Brook Antoinette Mahealani Lee says Trump asked her once. “I was like, ‘Really?’ That’s just weird. She was 16. That’s creepy.”
- Trump won’t take no for an answer. When Trump is smitten there’s apparently little that anyone can do to dissuade him. When Jill Harth’s boyfriend made it clear the two were together and monogamous, that wasn’t enough to push him away. “He said: ‘Well, there’s always a first time. I am going after her,’” George Houraney said. “I thought the man was joking. I laughed. He said, ‘I am serious.’” Trump then proceeded to grope Harth under the table at dinner. Trump disputes the claims.