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Author who profiled Trump explains his bizarre behavior: He doesn’t actually want to be president

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As a journalist for The New Yorker, Mark Singer has written extensively about the GOP’s presidential nominee.

Recently he gave a talk about his new book, Trump and Me, published earlier this month, where he answered questions about his reporting from an audience. In the hour-long talk held at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. and published Wednesday, Singer discusses his take on the presidential nominee based on his work writing profiles about Trump for the New Yorker.

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Singer said he believed Trump never expected to make it this far in the election, and was hoping to wind up second behind one of the other primary candidates. He said he is not into “details” and probably had no plans to actually be president.

“Would a person who really wants to be elected run without a staff, without a ground game state-to-state, without a fundraising network, without any regard for policy nuances, no concept of governance and all the other things that one does to prepare,” Singer said. “Can you imagine Trump debating Hillary Clinton?”

He then laid out some of Trump’s outrageous statements, like praising former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and retweeting an anti-Semitic image.

“I think his greatest fear is losing, period,” Singer said. “I think he’s at best very conflicted about it.”

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When asked by moderator and fellow New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer why Trump would put himself in this position, Singer answered it was ego-driven.

“His ego is — there’s nothing like it really,” Singer said. “We’ve never witnessed anyone like this in public life. I mean, people compare Trump to P.T. Barnum, but P.T. Barnum was promoting other acts and things like this, and he has been promoting himself. There is no real Donald Trump. There is ‘Donald Trump.’ He is his brand… He’s predicated his whole existence on leveraging his name, Donald Trump, and everything that he’s ever done, I thought, has been calculated as an extension of the brand. He’s not a details person plainly.”

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Singer then referenced a piece by Stephanie Cegielski, a former public relations staffer who defected and now claims Trump didn’t intend to become the Republican nominee.

“The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy,” she wrote. “It pains me to say, but he is the presidential equivalent of Sanjaya on American Idol.”

Singer agreed with Mayer that Trump is now stuck — but “he just wants to hear his name shouted from the public, and he responds to it.”

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Watch the entire talk, as posted to YouTube, here:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

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The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

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Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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