Trump’s extortion-mindedness is nothing new – 20 years ago he put it in his book
Back in 2000, Donald Trump published a book to test the presidential waters. “Let’s cut to the chase,” he said in the first line of The America We Deserve. “Yes, I am considering a run for the presidency of the United States.” Trump then went on to preempt detractors over things he must have perceived as weaknesses: lack of experience, bankruptcies, and controversial (racist) statements he denied saying. “I am proud of the vital role that the United States played in defeating the Third Reich,” writes Trump defensively, as if he needed to set the record straight on his view of Hitler and World War II.
Perhaps he was still sore over an old 1990 Vanity Fair article, which recounted an alleged conversation from first wife Ivana to the effect that Trump “from time to time” read Hitler’s speeches and kept them “in a cabinet by his bed.”
But what’s most revealing in the book’s first pages is an admission from Trump that he had blackmail material on a U.S. Senator leading the effort against the impeached Bill Clinton, and had similar material on a conservative media personality:
“I got a chuckle out of all the moralists in Congress and in the media who expressed public outrage at the president’s immoral behavior. I happen to know that one U.S. Senator leading the pack of attackers spent more than a few nights with his twenty-something girlfriend at a hotel I own. There’s also a conservative columnist, married, who was particularly rough on Clinton in this regard. He also brought his girlfriend to my resorts for the weekend. Their hypocrisy is amazing.” (Trump, The America We Deserve)
Of course, Trump had just claimed that the American people don’t care about the immorality of their elected officials, “so long as they are doing the job,” before he insinuated—with an implicit threat of extortion—that he holds damaging material on powerful people who might be embarrassed at its release.
Makes you wonder if this individual is still in the U.S. Senate, which is set to try Donald Trump for abusing his power by trying to extort the leader of Ukraine for his own personal political gain.
Especially in light of the fact that eighteen current senators, eleven of them Republicans, participated in the 1999 trial of Bill Clinton. Any one of them could be the individual Trump was referring to in his book.