There’s a corollary to President Trump’s now-infamous habit of claiming that “many people” are saying or feeling things that support his political positions. Trump also will frequently mention friends he uses as case studies, individuals or small groups that, he assures us, he knows personally and from whom he can relay a pertinent anecdote.
He did this twice during a recent interview with Bloomberg News, which prompted us to build out a full Rolodex of anonymous-but-politically-useful friends of Trump. Without further ado, that list.
Interview with Bloomberg, April 2017. (This friend was also mentioned in Baton Rouge in December.)
“I have very good relationships with the truckers. I have one friend who’s a big trucker and he’s — he’s like — said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ you know, with the roads — you’ve heard this story — with the roads, and his trucks are all being destroyed, and he’s going to start buying cheap equipment now. Yeah, the roads are in bad shape.”
Some rich people who haven’t been audited
Interview with CBS News, April 2017.
“I mean, I have been under audit, I’ll bet you 12 or 13 or 14 years in a row. Now, I have friends that are wealthy people. They’ve never been audited.”
A smart guy
Speech in New York, April 2016.
“I have a friend, he’s a smart guy. He said, ‘How could a certain politician have made that deal? I didn’t think he was that stupid.’ I said, ‘It’s not stupid at all. He’s doing it because his lobbyist is demanding that he do it.’ “
A guy who no longer goes to Paris
Speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, February 2017.
“I have a friend, he’s a very, very substantial guy. He loves the City of Lights, he loves Paris. For years, every year during the summer, he would go to Paris, was automatic with his wife and his family. Hadn’t seen him in a while. And I said, ‘Jim, let me ask you a question: How’s Paris doing?’ ‘Paris? I don’t go there anymore, Paris is no longer Paris.’ That was four years — four or five years, hasn’t gone there. He wouldn’t miss it for anything. Now he doesn’t even think in terms of going there.”
A guy whose father is a mean Wall Street baron
Speech in De Pere, Wis., March 2016.
“I have a friend who’s a guy who was born to a very, very successful Wall Street baron. And the Wall Street baron is a vicious, ruthless, horrible human being. You would not like him for dinner. You’d respect him, but you wouldn’t like him, and most of the people in the room would know who he is. One of the big barons of Wall Street.”
This friend eventually helped manage the redevelopment of an unnamed golf club in Westchester, N.Y.
A great manufacturer
Speech in Millington, Tenn., February 2016.
“I have a friend who’s a great, great manufacturer. He deals with China. He says it’s a virtual impossibility.”
A guy who builds plants
Speech in Kinston, N.C., October 2016.
“I have a friend who builds plants. He is, I believe, the biggest in the world. And I said, ‘How are we doing?’ He said, ‘Donald, we’re doing fine.’ ‘How’s your company?’ ‘Unbelievable.’ I said, ‘How’s this country, our country, the country we love?’ — and he loves this country, he’s an American — ‘How’s it doing?’ ‘Not good.’ I said, ‘Well, how are you doing well?’ He said, ‘I am building the greatest plants anywhere in the world — in Mexico.’ “
A guy who bought an airplane
Speech in Walterboro, S.C., February 2016.
“I have a friend who actually bought an airplane and he can’t get it into China because the tax is so massive. He’s going to sell it now at a big loss.”
Speech in Knoxville, Tenn., November 2015.
“I have a friend, he’s a doctor. He’s going to quit. He’s not an old guy. I say, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Because it’s impossible. We need so much accounting.’ He said he has more accountants than he has nurses.”
A war historian
Speech in Keene, N.H., September 2015.
“The Afghanistanian people, great fighters, always have been known. I have a friend of mine, he’s a big war historian. Among the best fighters, Afghanistan.”
A rich friend who doesn’t own a hedge fund
Speech in Columbus, Ohio, August 2016.
“I have a friend, he’s very wealthy. He doesn’t own a hedge fund.”
Some people in Baltimore
Interview with The Post, March 2016.
“You look at our inner cities, our inner cities are a horrible mess. I watched Baltimore, I have many, many friends in Baltimore, we watched what happened. St. Louis, Ferguson, Oakland, it could have been much worse over the summer.”
“I have many, many friends from the Philippines. They’re great people.”
A statement after his remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, June 2016.
“I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent”
Comment to a reporter, February 2016.
Asked who his best Muslim friend is, Trump replied:
“I could give you about 20 of them.”
@crazymom28 I have a friend that wants to meet your sister.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2012
For what it’s worth, Trump also has a lot of friends whose names he’s happy to relay.