The Trump Files: When Donald Wanted to Help the Clintons Buy Their House

Ivylise Simones

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Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange but true stories, or curious scenes from the life of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t always “Crooked Hillary” to Donald Trump. Back in 1999, she was just a friend who the real estate mogul wanted to help save some money on a house.

The Clintons bought a $1.7 million dollar house in Chappaqua, New York, in September of that year as they prepared for life after the White House. Trump was aghast that they’d shelled out that much. “They really got ripped [off] on the house,” he told Larry King that October, about a month after the Clintons bought their new home. “One of my people who actually runs my golf course, which is literally a couple of minutes away from where they’re living, came up and said, ‘Why did they pay so much for that house?'”

Trump didn’t know why, but he was sure he could have cut President Clinton—and the First Lady, whom he described as “a wonderful woman who has handled pressure incredibly well” in The Art of the Comeback, his 1997 book—a much better deal. “I think I could save them about $600,000 or $700,000,” he said to King. “I really wish I could have represented them on the purchase of that house.”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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