The Trump Files: “Always Be Around Unsuccessful People,” Donald Recommends

This may explain his dumpster fire of a campaign.

Mother Jones illustration; Shutterstock

 

Donald Trump loves to insist that he hires the best people. So why has his barely-there campaign fired two campaign managers, tapped a new campaign chairman who’s been accused of domestic violence and voter fraud, signed up white supremacists as delegates, hired staffers who share racist memes, and otherwise seemingly avoided anything like the “best” people available? This quote from a speech Trump made in March may hold the answer.

Trump decided to give an audience at St. Norbert’s College in De Pere, Wisconsin, a lecture on success during a campaign appearance there on March 30. About halfway through, he turned to the topic of the kind of company that successful people should keep.

“You’ll find, when you become very successful, the people that you will like best will be the people that are less successful than you,” he said, “because when you go to a table, you can tell them all these wonderful stories and they’ll sit back and listen. Does that make sense to you? Okay? Always be around unsuccessful people, because everybody will respect you.”

Ironically, a popular businessman had once warned people about the dangers of only being able to hang around lesser lights. The businessman’s name? Donald Trump.

“Some of the most successful people, I’ve noticed, can associate only with people less successful than themselves,” he wrote in Surviving at the Top, his 1990 book. “When they’re around someone who gets more attention than they do and has accomplished more than they have, they display a major personality complex, acting nervous and uneasy—and I’m sure they say vicious things behind the more successful person’s back.”

Read the rest of “The Trump Files”:

 

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.