Most Americans know Donald Trump’s personality through what the media shows us. But what’s Trump like in everyday interactions? People with real-life experiences meeting Trump turned to an online forum to share what the “real” Trump is like.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
A former cable technician working in New York City says they’d sometimes service Trump Tower. The technician recalls the day he replaced a cable box in Trump’s living room and taught him how to watch an on-demand movie. The technician remembers Trump giving him a generous tip, but not before joking that “he hates the company I worked for even though he’s an investor.”
2: Oh, the Regret
In the summer of 1996, a 20-year-old walked to the SoHo area of New York City during their lunch break. Suddenly, they saw Trump getting out of a limo. “I yelled, ‘Hey, Trump!'” recalls the then youngster. Trump “turned and waved, and I swear he said, ‘It’s Donald!'” The now older adult says, “Of all the things 20-year-old me could have said…”
3: As Many as You Want
A commenter remembers dining at the Silver Star Diner on 2nd Avenue in New York City. The year was around 1993. Comedian Jackie Mason was performing when, suddenly, Trump walked by the restaurant with his parents and a couple of others in tow. Wanting to see Mason, the whole group entered the diner, and Trump’s father bumped into the commenter’s table, spilling their water. Trump apologized before the apologies became profuse as a joke, and he said he’d buy as many new waters as they wanted.
4: Respectful and Humble
“My dad has met him [Trump] through his job and said he was very respectful and humble,” says one commenter. Another person points out that “Seeing ‘humble’ in relation to him [Trump] seems crazy given the campaign tone.” Some people pointed to the media as making Trump seem egotistic.
5: Flying SpongeBob
Years ago, a commenter remembered their mother bringing them and their tantrum-prone brother to New York City. Their brother started giving the mother a hard time “down some random street,” and their mom was shouting at him. That’s when the brother threw his SpongeBob toy at his mom… except he missed, and it almost hit Trump. So, what was Trump’s reaction? “He just laughed and said, ‘Oh, there goes Spongebob.'”
6: Somewhat Friends
One person claims their dad went to high school with Trump. Based on their dad’s stories, they gathered that Trump and he were “somewhat friends.” It seems like that was enough to leave a lasting impression about Trump, though. “My entire life, my dad has only ever had nice things to say about him and describes him as a ‘prince.'”
7: Silent Observer
“I saw Donald, Melania, and Rihanna sitting next to each other in box seats at a Katy Perry concert in 2010,” recalls a Perry fan. They describe the trio as smiling a lot and seeming to have a good time. “When the show was over, Donald walked down the stairs, and the spotlight [was] shown on him, and he waved to everyone.”
8: Favorite Flavor
Quick: What’s Trump’s preferred slushie flavor? One former movie theater concession stand employee knows it from first-hand experience. Upon Trump asking for the slushie flavors available, which were white cherry and cotton candy, he chose cotton candy. “Donald Trump enjoys cotton candy…and I literally know that for a fact forever now.” Another observation the concession stand employee made? “He also paid in exact change.”
9: A Winning Handshake
A 14-year-old had a very wealthy friend from school. They recall the time the friend invited him to his “giant house” for his birthday barbecue. Guests were abundant, one of whom was Mr. Donald Trump. Upon shaking Trump’s hand, Trump said, “‘Ow, that’s a pretty solid handshake.'”
Trump then proceeded to ask if the boy was Samoan because of how strong he was, and the child responded he was a Kiwi of Maori descent. Trump said New Zealand is a place he’s “always wanted to go to.” The conversation ended with Trump advising “to study hard and work hard so we all could live in big houses like our hosts when we grew up.”
Although a party attendee never spoke to Trump directly, they remember hearing Trump talk about how Bill Gates had told him that he “was really smart and had good ideas.” The commenter remembers that “It felt weirdly self-conscious on his part.”
The same party-goer says they had a chance to meet Trump’s helicopter pilots. The pilots said that Trump “was a nice guy, always making sure they were taken care of, had eaten, etc.” They dished some dirt, though. “The megadouche was his son, Eric,” according to them.
12: Surprise Pop In
A former student at a cookery college in Scotland says that they once catered food for the golf resort Trump owned there. They described the catered food as “nothing major,” so they said it was a nice surprise when “he popped in and thanked us for our efforts and said he enjoyed the food.”
A grandchild remembers the time when Trump was building the Palos Verdes golf course, which was near the town they lived in. They and their grandparents embarked on a walk there one day when Trump rode by on a golf cart and high-fived his grandma. The oddest part? “No words were exchanged.”
14: At Your Service
A former Chick-fil-A employee in California remembers the time they were working the drive-through and a chauffeur ordered food from “one of those black livery sedans.” The chauffeur handed the employee exact change to pay for the food. As he was pulling away, “Mr. Trump lowered the back window, took the food, and said, ‘Thanks very much.'” The former employee remembers being “pretty surprised.”
15: Quite All Right
In 2014, a person in a rush remembers looking at their watch before accidentally bumping into Trump “as he was getting out of his car in front of his building.” The person apologized, and Trump responded that “it was quite all right.” They remember, “It was very civil, all things considered.”
16: Polar Opposite
A former valet worked at one of Trump’s golf courses for three years, so he had many interactions with Trump. “Every time I dealt with Big Donald, he was more than respectful.” He even remembers a Mexican cart cleaner whom Trump “personally provided housing for out of his own pocket,” citing the employee’s value to the golf course. “All in all, I had a polar opposite view of who Donald Trump was prior to this election cycle,” reflects the commenter.
Could It Be?
One commenter voices an opinion that over 2,000 people agreed with: “I’m pretty sure that he [Trump] is a lot different than the way he acted publicly this election cycle. All of the stories in this thread say the same thing: he is nice. He probably just acted the way he did [in the campaign] to get attention and get his name in front of America.”
The Flip Side
Not all people have had pleasant encounters with Trump. Furthermore, a psychologist suggests Trump has narcissistic tendencies, which include a grandiose air that can come off as a fun, nice person to be around when the public only has short interactions with him.
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