Mar-a-Lago: Where Donald Trump learned to be king


President Trump has not changed much since the day he bought his 17-acre Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago, in 1985, New York Times best-selling author Laurence Leamer shared on “Salon Talks” with Dean Obeidallah. The gilded, exclusive club, where Trump still retreats on weekends as president, is a window into his deepest insecurities and gives further insight into what lies ahead for the president’s legacy.

Leamer, who embedded with the upper crust of Palm Beach while doing research for his latest book “Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace,” and even dined at the club while Trump was present, says that even though Trump once donned himself “the king of Palm Beach,” he was never truly accepted by the old money legacies of Palm Beach.

“Here comes this flamboyant guy bringing in hundreds of models from Miami Beach, vulgar language, suing them if he doesn't get his way. He brings in this new money, this new gilded age of America,” Leamer told SalonTV’s Dean Obeidallah. “There are 40 billionaires in Palm Beach. These are the people he identifies with. You want to be a billionaire or you're nobody.”

Leamer goes on to trace Trump’s flair for lying and over-embellishing to Mar-a-Lago, as well as his fixation on tabloid headlines of any kind (as long as they have his name attached) like the National Enquirer. The foundation of Trump’s media obsession was built in Palm Beach.

“He's created this world now where he's the most famous man in the history of the world, probably, in terms of social media. We can't even sleep at night. We're consumed with this man and that's what he wants, that's what he's created. There's a kind of genius about this whether you like it or not,” Leamer said.

Watch the episode above to hear how Leamer traces Trump’s Russian ties back to real estate deals he led in Palm Beach, and how the behavior he learned at Mar-a-Lago paved the way for his abrasive and dismissive leadership style.


SalonTV host Dean Obeidallah is also the host of the daily national SiriusXM radio program, "The Dean Obeidallah Show" on the network's progressive political channel. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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