Don’t Go In There Alone!

Watching Washington bureaucrats deal with Trump feels a lot like watching teenagers get hacked up in an old horror film remake. “No, James! Don’t go into that room by yourself!”

Women are not the only ones who have long had evidence that it’s a bad idea to be alone with Trump. As early as 1985, Trump proved the peril of his company for politicians as well.

Kenneth Lipper, who was campaigning for the City Council Presidency at the time, had accused his opponent Andrew Stein of striking a corrupt bargain with Trump. Lipper unwisely agreed to a meeting with Trump. Following that meeting, Trump went on TV and claimed that Lipper had tried a shakedown at the meeting, demanding campaign contributions from Trump. Lipper angrily denied Trump’s charges.

Donald Trump, the real-estate developer, said yesterday that Kenneth Lipper, a candidate for City Council President who has criticized an opponent for accepting a campaign contribution from him, asked Mr. Trump to contribute to his own campaign. […]

Mr. Lipper’s campaign aides angrily denied the charge. ”That is the way Trump remembers it, that is not the way it happened,” said a campaign consultant to Mr. Lipper, Ron Maiorana. In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr. Lipper confirmed that he had met with Mr. Trump, but said that it was at the developer’s request. Mr. Lipper said that Mr. Trump had tried to persuade him to run for Manhattan Borough President, and had promised his support if he did. […]

Mr. Trump, in a telephone interview, said he stood by his account of his meeting with Mr. Lipper.

(New York Times, August 19, 1985)