The Making of Donald Trump | David Cay Johnston

Summary of: The Making of Donald Trump
By: David Cay Johnston


Unravel the intriguing journey of Donald Trump as David Cay Johnston’s book, “The Making of Donald Trump” expertly dissects the secrets of his success. Gain insight into Trump’s expertise in media manipulation and prowess in creating a public image that captivated voters. Understand the role of lawsuits in Trump’s life as he attempts to maintain the facade of a powerful and flawless businessman. Explore how he interacts with those who dare to cross him, the legal battles he engages in, and how far he goes in defending his reputation.

Trump’s Public Image

Trump’s success in media manipulation and deception to craft a public image that captures the public imagination is what fuels his popularity.

Donald Trump, a position of himself as a savior, has managed to attract many voters and construct a public image that captures the public imagination. Trump has a deep understanding of the media’s workings and has been able to craft his image with great efficacy. He feeds the media stories that are ready to print, complete with images that support his agenda, as he’s keenly aware of the lack of time for in-depth research many journalists face. Trump’s concocted stories are often full of deception as he has had years of practice. For instance, in the 1970s, Trump settled a lawsuit that forced him to accept non-white tenants in his New York apartments. However, he spun the story to emphasize his lack of guilt in the “minor settlement” when he spoke to the press.

In June 2015, when he announced his presidential campaign, Trump made sure it was a carefully staged event; he hired extras for $50 who cheered for him enthusiastically, even though he had just announced his candidacy. Trump went to lengths to plant favorable stories that cast him in a positive light, such as posing as assistants named “John Baron” and “John Miller” during interviews. These pseudo-names tricked journalists into thinking they received comments from senior officials of The Trump Organization. Trump’s success in media manipulation and deception to craft a public image that captures the public imagination is what fuels his popularity.

Trump’s Image Defense

The book suggests that Trump’s defense mechanism includes threatening to sue journalists who publish derogatory information about his image, even if he knows he cannot win a particular lawsuit. He has also become a master of deflecting any facts that might contradict the image he portrays. Using Timothy O’Brien’s case as an example, Trump admitted that the lawsuit’s real goal was to make O’Brien’s life miserable, and he felt pleased with the outcome.

Trump’s Intellect and Relationship with Facts

Despite Trump’s attempts to present himself as intellectually superior, there are noticeable gaps in his knowledge. He also has a troubling tendency to reject facts as objective truths. For instance, he provided nonsensical answers during the 2015 Republican presidential debate and couldn’t offer hard facts or figures in his lawsuit against Timothy O’Brien. Instead, he claimed that such amounts fluctuate based on his feelings towards the economy on any given day. Consequently, Trump’s approach to facts affects his business ethics.

The Unethical Business Methods of Trump

The book highlights Trump’s fraudulent and unethical business strategies that have contributed to his success. The text focuses on the illegal Polish demolition crew he hired to construct Trump Tower, and his fraudulent program called Trump University. Trump’s lack of payment to his workers and the absence of hand-picked teachers in his university raises concern. The book report shows how Trump disregarded legal regulations to advance his business endeavors, despite the adverse effects on his employees.

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