Sep 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump to Maggie Haberman: I ran for fame

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally at the Aero Center Wilmington on September 23, 2022 in Wilmington, North Carolina

Former President Trump speaks at a rally on Sept. 23 in Wilmington, N.C. Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Former President Trump reflects on his presidency and the question he gets asked more than any other: "If you had it to do again, would you have done it?" in an Atlantic excerpt from journalist Maggie Haberman's forthcoming book, "Confidence Man."

Driving point: "'The answer is, yeah, I think so. Because here’s the way I look at it. I have so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are.' He then went on to talk about how much easier his life would have been had he not run," Haberman wrote.

  • "Yet there it was: Reflecting on the meaning of having been president of the United States, his first impulse was not to mention public service, or what he felt he’d accomplished, only that it appeared to be a vehicle for fame, and that many experiences were only worth having if someone else envied them," Haberman wrote.

Haberman described the "candid admission" as "jarring as it was ultimately unsurprising."

  • She added in parenthesis: "When I asked him in a later interview about what he’d liked about the job, he replied, 'Getting things done,' and listed a few accomplishments."

The big picture: Trump, who faces legal peril in at least three different cases, also weighed in on the looming question of whether he took classified documents from the White House.

  • "Nothing of great urgency, no," he told Haberman, per the excerpt in The Atlantic.

Go deeper... New York AG refers Trump family to federal prosecutors and IRS

Go deeper