1980s: How Donald Trump Created Donald Trump | NBC News

before he was a presidential candidate

I've been saying for years keep the oil

keep the oil don't let him have the oil

before he was a reality TV star he afire

Donald Trump was a New York tabloid

fixture all through the 1980s Trump was

busy building something new and it

wasn't a skyscraper billionaire

developer Donald Trump has put his name

on a New York City hotel shopping center

and apartment buildings as well as a

casino in Atlantic City and now he's

going to put his name on a big piece of

Eastern Airlines Trump was creating a

public persona one that could be both

funny and demeaning arrogant and somehow

in touch with the common man I sort of

love and hate him at the same time I

mean I think he has you know a

monumental ego he comes off being very

arrogant yeah he said he said he's hairy

I like it you ain't got a me got

everything he often did this by picking

fights he said I think Donald Trump is

an artful liar I think he is a greedy

vicious and arrogant man what is that

supposed to be a compliment or not I'm

not sure he waged a year's long battle

with New York City Mayor Ed Koch I hope

that New York City has a different mayor

at some point because I think I got just

a total disaster he's been a very bad

man for the city he helped launch a

competitor to the NFL called the US

Football League and then launched a

lawsuit against the NFL

when the USFL failed the jury in the

case delivered its verdict it ruled the

NFL did indeed monopolize pro football

but it awarded damages of just one

dollar and in one of his biggest fights

of the 1980s he went up against media

mogul Merv Griffin in a fight over a

casino in Atlantic City people realize

now that Merv made a bad deal it's

unfortunate that he's taken a fall

but he has taken the fall nothing much I

can do about it

Dom love that perception I won I won

that one he is still you know a year

later standing in New York when I won I

won I won he wants to make sure

everybody in America knows he won but

the Donald Trump we know today is more

than just a boastful brawler that's

because there's one more tactic that

Trump apparently learned in the 80s and

uses to great effect on the campaign

trail today keep people guessing about

any long-term plans mr. Trump what's

left in your life you're 33 years old

you're worth all this money you say you

didn't say that you want to be worth a

billion now I really don't I just want

to keep busy and keep active could a

billion dollars buy the White House what

do you think well I don't run again I

know a lot of the politicians I like a

lot of the politicians their friends him

Trump carefully cultivated speculation

about his future in 1987 he ran a

full-page ad in major newspapers that

read like a political manifesto a

blow-up of the ad is now on display at

Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue the ad was

irresistible to the New York press and

the move kept Trump's name in the news

comp has said quite seriously that he's

a good enough bargainer to negotiate a

nuclear disarmament treaty with the

Russians this is not a wealthy country

people think America you know well isn't

that the Japanese are saying that what a

wealthy country I mean they're saying it

in their laughing country is losing 200

billion dollars a year we ought to go in

the next time they fire so much as a

bullet of one of our ships we ought to

go in and take over their oil with each

of these instances Trump refined his

playbook his attacks Steve you're gonna

have to start pushing these people now a

little bit cuz it's getting a little

ridiculous as far as I'm concerned these

boasts will probably sell an extra

10,000 season tickets and that's a lot

of tickets and his shifting positions do

you have the the genes to be a

successful politician well you never

really know I think I'm pretty outspoken

and that's not probably a good thing in

terms of a politician but it's a good

thing if you ever got elected you can

really do a job now even back in the 80s

many found Trump's over-the-top

personality distasteful what may be most

discouraging of all is that Palm Beach

will accept almost anything if it's got

enough money but somehow it will not

accept Donald Trump

but by playing the role of an

unpredictable bully with the Midas touch

Trump showed he couldn't easily be

ignored I believe that perhaps I'm

portrayed differently than I I actually

am I believe I'm portrayed in a rougher

sense than the actual product and I hope

that's true because I hope the actual

product is a lot more mellow than the

portrayal and that may be his biggest

asset of all when people attack Trump

they reinforce the version of Trump that

Trump wants people to see and inevitably

that keeps Trump's name in the news that

doesn't matter because I'm not running

for office

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