Lately, presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and his supporters have enjoyed likening him to Republican superhero, former President Ronald Reagan. Not only do we have evidence that Reagan was too serious of a politician to have taken Trump seriously from a tweet by his son (below), documents from the Reagan-era have been rediscovered showing exactly what Reagan and his wife, Nancy, thought about Trump.
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) June 6, 2016
Trump repeatedly solicited the First Couple’s attention with invitations and even requests for personal congratulations on his business successes. His oversized ego led him to believe that he was entitled to the President’s attention and that he was someone President Reagan would be interested in. The new documents show that Reagan could not have cared less about Trump, and refused to give him the time of day.
Trump’s tendency to grovel for attention from powerful people is illustrated in a memo written the by the White House Political Director, Frank J. Donatelli, asking the Speaker of the House to contact Trump about his political activities. It implies that Trump will do anything they want him to, as long as the person doing the asking is famous:
“It would be most helpful if you would place a phone call to Don Trump today. He has a large ego and would be responsive to your call.” (Emphasis original.)
The Washington Post has collected a few of the best incidents recorded in the Reagan files. Here is a brief history of the Reagans rebuffing Trump’s egotistical advances:
In 1983, a request came in for a presidential telegram congratulating Trump on the grand opening of his eponymous tower on Fifth Avenue. A lawyer in the counsel’s office wrote “NO” and explained internally that it would be inappropriate because it was a “commercial” venture.
Also in 1983, Trump had his picture taken with the President during a photo line at a White House event. The president, not paying close attention, signed it “Reagan Reagan.” Five years later, Trump included the image in his book “The Art of the Deal.”
In 1984, Trump invited Reagan to a gala to honor Vietnam veterans in New York City and said he would schedule it for any day that the president would be available. The White House said no.
In 1988, the New York Board of Trade gave Trump an “outstanding executive” award. The head of the group sent the White House a letter asking if POTUS could come. “Advanced word is that Mr. Trump will have some stimulatingly interesting comments to make during his talk at the dinner,” he wrote. The White House was not interested.
Also in 1988, Trump sent a glossy pink invitation to the First Couple for a LaToya Jackson concert at his Atlantic City casino. They ignored the invite.
This is just further evidence that Trump always has been, and always will be, a power-obsessed egomaniac.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.