Trump Reacts to NYT Reporter's New Book: She's a 'Creep'

Maggie Haberman brings receipts in advance of Tuesday's 'Confidence Man'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2022 2:13 PM CDT
Trump on His Famous Foil: 'She's Like My Psychiatrist'
This cover image shows "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America," by Maggie Haberman.   (Penguin via AP)

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman has a book due out Tuesday on former President Donald Trump, and some eyebrow-raising snippets have already been leaked. A few more are now filtering out in advance of Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, including Trump's threat that he would "sue Congress" over his impeachment, and that he mocked Ruth Bader Ginsburg's apparently deteriorating condition in 2020, per HuffPost and Intelligencer. He also didn't have good things to say about Jared Kushner, at least in terms of his outdoors abilities. Per Haberman, Trump noted that daughter Ivanka Trump, married to Kushner, wanted to rent an RV and travel, something that Trump had a hard time imagining. "Can you imagine Jared and his skinny ass camping? It'd be like something out of Deliverance," Trump reportedly said, before then making "noises mimicking the banjo theme song from the 1972 movie." More on Haberman's book, Haberman herself, and her unique relationship with Trump:

  • Paging Dr. Maggie? Haberman writes that during one of their interviews, Trump made an interesting remark to aides who were in the room. "I love being with her, she's like my psychiatrist," he said, per an excerpt in the Atlantic. Haberman notes: "It was a meaningless line, almost certainly intended to flatter. ... The reality is that he treats everyone like they are his psychiatrists."

  • Trump's vanity: It has no limits, writes Frank Bruni in an op-ed for the New York Times, pointing out the "revealing" fact that, despite all of Trump's past rants against Haberman, he granted her three interviews for the book. "He'll do anything to survive. And he'll do anything for an audience," Bruni writes, noting Trump "clearly" respects Haberman.
  • He wanted her phone records: Whether he respects her or not, Trump still reportedly made one big threat to some in his inner circle. The former president, "angry about my published stories, would bellow that he wanted administration officials to obtain my phone records and identify my sources," Haberman writes in her book, per Axios. "It did not appear that anyone ever acted on it."
  • His 'most famous chronicler': That's how Haberman is described in a lengthy profile in Politico by Michael Kruse, who delves into the reporter's backstory (including her childhood and rise through the media ranks), her longtime labor on the "Trump beat," how that has offered her perhaps unique insight into the former president, and how her access to and "particular dynamic" with Trump has drawn "persistent criticism"—including the "suggestion of a level of coziness that constitutes professional malpractice."
  • Trump's response: Unsurprisingly, the former president isn't too keen on his frenemy's new tome, expressing his displeasure online on Friday. "Here we go again! Another Fake book is out, this one, supposedly very boring and stale, by self appointed head case, Failing (unfunded liability!) New York Times writer, Maggie Hagerman," Trump wrote on Truth Social, misspelling her name, notes the Independent. He goes on to call Haberman a "creep," says she lied about him wanting to fire daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Kushner, and accuses Haberman of "zero fact checking or confirmation by anyone who would know, like me."
  • Haberman's counter-response: About 15 minutes after the Truth Social diatribe, Haberman, with no other comment other than the note "From Confidence Man," put up a pic on Twitter of Trump's post, right next to one showing what appears to be his handwritten answers to her questions.
(Read more Maggie Haberman stories.)

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