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The Women Behind Trump

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The Women Behind Trump

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Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

As New York billionaire Donald Trump heads into the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, he trails his main rival Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas by ten points in the state and faces a wider gender gap than any GOP candidate in recent history. Trump has a whopping 77 percent unfavorable rating among women, according to a recent CNN poll.

The flamboyant Republican frontrunner campaigns these days without the comforting presence of his glamorous 34-year-old daughter Ivanka, a fixture for many months on the trail as Trump patted her baby bump at press conferences. Ivanka gave birth Easter to a boy named Theodore.

Given Trump’s history of sexism, he needs all the help he can get. His attacks on high powered women like former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly — who earned his ire, ironically, by asking about his history of vicious personal remarks against women who have criticized him — have backfired on the thin-skinned real estate developer.

Trump still has plenty of support from prominent women, though, among them the loathed right wing columnist Ann Coulter (although she wishes he could be a “teeny little bit less low brow”), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the fabled “Mama Grizzly” who has endorsed him, and successful women in his own extended family.

Melania Trump, a former model who has taken heat for posing partially naked on a bear rug for British GQ 16 years ago, is nonetheless a “very private person,” Trump has said, noting she initially would have preferred he didn’t run. She seems to act as fan, sounding board and eye candy for improvised political career.

His lesser-known but highly respected older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, is a 78-year-old senior judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia. Barry, appointed in 1982 by Ronald Reagan and promoted by Bill Clinton, has admitted that Trump helped her get appointed to the first federal judgeship in New Jersey. “There’s no question Donald helped me get on the bench — I was good but not that good,” she was quoted as stating in Gwenda Blair’s The Trumps: Three Generations That Built An Empire.

Donald Trump’s late lawyer Roy Cohn, the notorious Manhattan power broker and former counsel to red-hunting Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, has also been cited as putting pressure on a senior Reagan White House aide to get Barry the appointment. “I’m no different than any other brother that loves his sister,” Trump said when asked by the New York Times about Cohn’s machinations. He added, however, “My sister got the appointment totally on her own.”

Barry, who is tall with enhanced blonde hair similar to that of her brother’s, has described Trump as a “brat” in his younger days. She has come under fire herself by pro-life zealot Cruz, who has called her a “radical pro-abortion extremist.” (Cruz’s only source was Barry’s 2000 opinion for a three-judge panel striking down a New Jersey law banning partial birth abortions, on grounds the statute was so broad it could apply to almost any abortion, no matter what its stage).

Trump, of course, has changed his own positions on abortion with neck-breaking speed. In 1999, he stated in an interview that he was “very pro-choice” and even supported partial birth abortions. But since becoming presidential candidate, he claims to have “evolved” into a Christian-pro-life candidate, telling MSBC’s Chris Matthews earlier this week on the fly that he believes women should get “some form of punishment” for illegal abortions in the event the procedure is banned. He quickly recanted that heresy after it drew a firestorm of opposition on social media and on both sides of the activist aisle.

Meanwhile, in his business practices, Donald Trump often get high marks from current and former female employees as a fair and even handed boss. “From the standpoint of being a woman, I just thought he was phenomenal,” said Louise Sunshine, 74, who joined Trump’s real estate business while raising three young children. “He gave me the ropes and I could either hang myself or prove myself,” she noted in an 2015 interview with the Washington Post.

(Sunshine claims, however, that Trump would show her an unflattering “fat picture” he had of her when she did something he didn’t like, a charge he denies. It was “a reminder that I wasn’t perfect,” she said.)

Ivanka Trump, who has two other children besides her aforementioned newborn, remains involved in her father’s real estate development company and has her own line of jewelry and clothing. She disputed comments that her father is a world class misogynist. “I don’t think he’s gender-oriented at all,” Ivanka Trump told CNN. “I wouldn’t be a high level executive within the Trump Organization if he felt that way.”

Norma Foerderer, Donald Trump’s top aide for 26 years until she retired in 2006 (she died in 2013 in her 80s), told Ronald Kessler of Newsmax that there there are two Donalds: the “outrageous” one portrayed on television and the real one the insiders know.

Foerderer began as Trump’s secretary and rose to vice president. She was in charge of numerous aspects of his business, including media relations and hiring and firing administrative personnel. She also negotiated book deals and advertising contracts.

“Donald can be totally outrageous, but outrageous in a wonderful way that gets him coverage,” Foerderer said “That persona sells his licensed products and his condominiums.” She claimed, however, that the private Donald Trump is “the dearest, most thoughtful, most loyal, most caring man, and it’s one of his secrets to success.”

Trump has employed women in non-traditional roles and once told this reporter in the 1970s that he had hired a female construction worker. Barbare Res, who he put in charge of construction of his glittering Trump Tower in 1982, told the Washington Post that Trump used to tell her and others that “men are better than women, but a good woman is better than 10 men.”

Res, now in her 60s, and owner of a construction consulting company, said Trump “wasn’t discriminating against women that I saw” but added, “He was sexist; he made comments and stuff like that.”

Yes, Trump can’t seem to stop commenting, even about Ted Cruz’s wife. Res, according to the Washington Post, said she disagrees with his views on abortion and on his repeated vows to end the Affordable Care Act. She noted that she will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

Photo: Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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13 Comments

  1. yabbed April 4, 2016

    Trump isn’t stupid, but he’s lazy. He has become the Sarah Palin of this election cycle, ,relying on one liners and throwaway sloganeering. And the paucity of content is beginning to hurt him, just as the same “revolution” blabber coming from the old hippie freak commie Sanders is experiencing. We need rational intelligence in the Presidency. We need a wonk with actual domestic and foreign policy agendas and experience. No one running in this election is qualified for the Presidency but Hillary Clinton.

    Reply
    1. tbs April 4, 2016

      Trump should not g be giving any more ideas (it is ALL on his website, go look it up) he has as they tear him apart, then turn around and use it for themselves making people think it was their idea. What lying B________s!

  2. stcroixcarp April 4, 2016

    So why is Mr. Trump keeping the real Donald locked up?

    Reply
  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 4, 2016

    Anne says “…although she wishes he could be a “teeny little bit less low brow”.

    Gee, Anne—only a teeny bit, and you would feel more comfortable with the vitriol that has gushed forth from His Donaldship’s “oil-well” shaped like a mouth?

    That statement by Anne alone shows the lack of good manners and civility that characterize any shallow and vapid personality.

    Reply
    1. 11thStPopulist April 4, 2016

      Anne Coulter is really Cruella DeVille. Watch out for your puppies.

    2. charleo1 April 5, 2016

      Any tougher standards than “teeny little bit less” low brow for Ann Coulter, would immediately make her a raging hypocrite.

  4. Elliot J. Stamler April 4, 2016

    The Trump is endorsed by Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter which ought to be enough to sicken anyone. The other women quoted in this article who speak well of him are ones he paid huge $alarie$ and bonuses to. I agree there is no record of gender discrimination by the Trump in hiring but there is at the same time an unchallenged record of misogny and contemptible, sexist disdain for women. The Trump REFUSED with arrogance to answer the question as to whether any of his wives and innumerable (often adulterous) girlfriends ever had an abortion. Wouldn’t even deign to reply. You can imagine what the truth is on that point. This pig openly expressed contempt for all women who are not beautiful, slender and a “ten.” Other women are hideous losers. How any self-respecting woman can vote for this creature is beyond me. And as to his daughter, sister and ex-wives (whom he paid millions to ditch the minute he saw someone younger and prettier): what on earth do you expect them to say???

    Reply
    1. tbs April 4, 2016

      I find your remark not revenant because you are so intent to put Trump down for ANYTHING that has to do with women as Meghan Kelly did. The old SNL crap (Palin was used) all over again to smear people because you are so pure – Right?
      You both are out of line in even thinking that there were any girlfriends who had an abortion. It is none of your business. You people are nasty, mean, and casting stones, when you should be looking at yourself first and taking that plank out of your eye. NO ONE IS PERFECT OR WITHOUT SIN!

      If all this is more important to you, than the good someone has done for a fellowman, country and family then:
      1. Why did you not question Slick Willy’s escapades and abuse of women, in the peoples house and other places, (round the world), degrading America’s people to in their face, as he did leaving the white house, that it was ALL about him and no concern for anyone else.
      2. Slick Willy’s drug problems in the White House hushed up.
      3. Did not Vet Obama’s background out before he was nominated for President
      4. Did not complain when Obama gave Churchill’s bust back, as a slap in the face, to England.
      5. Call Hillary out for money laundering, while Hillary, flew around the country, on OUR tax dollars. AND abetting the dictators (who gave her money) to abusing their women. How can any woman back Hillary unless they are abused by their husbands, boyfriends or whatever.
      6. Call Hillary out, for abetting Willy’s abuse to women, while she professes to backing women empowerment. Again the women backing her must be abusers or abused women and think it is alright. Geez how stupid are they?
      7. Back a Ted Cruz, who is a religious nut. Who was Anointed “KING” to the Seven Mountains for the Dominionism cult faith!
      The list goes on and on.
      8. The mysterious deaths of people, on Hillary and Bill watch, in both Arkansas and White House.
      9. Make excuses that it was ALL Trump’s fault on the leak about Cruz’s escapades? Pleez!

      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 4, 2016

        It’s true that no one is w/o sin, etc. But when anyone loudly advertise how wonderful they are, and what a creep others are, in the same breath, then they are beyond the pale of decency.

        This is the crux of the article and points out a glaring hypocrisy of the “holier-than-thou” trumpeters.

        As you rattle off the deficiencies(purported or otherwise), where do you stand? You specifically cite “Slick Willy”, and by doing so you put yourself in the same category of those you’ve denounced.

        Now where’s the honesty in that?

      2. charleo1 April 5, 2016

        For all your blathering nonsense about President Clinton not being questioned about his philandering before he was elected. He was. The voters decided they liked him, and his message anyway. And they, in the end were proven right about Clinton’s abilities as President. His extracurricular activities notwithstanding, were personal, the way most Americans saw it. And, they certainly don’t put any blame on his wife for his actions. She stayed in the marriage for better or worse, as is any wife’s prerogative. And besides, I thought we used to respect that kind of commitment to one’s marriage? That really was nobody’s business, but the Clintons.
        Now, the Churchill bust you refer to, was not in fact returned to Britain by Obama, as you claim, But moved to the President’s private quarters. Being replace in the Oval Office where Bush had it, by a likeness of Lincoln. As was this President’s preference. So I’ll give you some real “vetting.” on Barack Obama. Barack Obama is POTUS. He lives in the WH. He was duly elected by wide majorities twice. And some people are just never going to get over any of that. It’s totally their problem.

        But you, you are the Grand Old Party’s nightmare. They did a lot to create you. And you’ll probably be the death of them before you, and about 1/3 of the Party that is like you, are done with whatever you’re doing. And they are welcome to you. There’s not a lot of sympathy for the Republican Establishment nowadays anywhere. Nor do they deserve any.
        But, by the same standards, neither will Donald Trump ever get anywhere near the Presidency of the United States of America. I’d sooner put my four year old grandson behind the wheel of my car, with his two year old sister beside him, and send them cross country on vacation. That would be my family’s, and my grandchildren’s tragedy. Trump, would be the Nation’s. And do not think for a moment the American People, the vast majorities of which have not yet spoken, are going to allow that to happen. Not this year, not in a million years, not in this, my Country, ever.

  5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 4, 2016

    For there to be “two” of anyone, when one of the “two” is the very opposite of comportment and civility, suggests a form of schizophrenia that needs professional attention.

    A Jekyll-Hype complex is a dangerous liability for him or her, who would be POTUS, or any other position of national leadership.

    Just a thought.

    Reply
  6. Carolyn1520 April 5, 2016

    Ann Coulter is a woman?

    Reply
    1. Böcker April 5, 2016

      I though “she” got arrest in NC for using the wrong bathroom.

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