Donald Trump's biographers fear the Republican presidential nominee will take the United States to a very dark place out of spite as his campaign sinks into the abyss.
Politico convened a meeting of the real estate developer and former reality TV star's five biographers to ask them about the latest scandal engulfing Trump's presidential campaign, which is sinking fast with less than four weeks until the Nov. 8 election.
The biographers said the Trump captured on a 2005 hot mic recording was the same man -- albeit even worse -- they came to know in hours and hours of interviews and other research.
"I would have to say that 'grabbing by the pussy' was a little surprising to me," said Wayne Barrett, author of the 1991 book "Trump." "You know, thrusting his tongue down whatever mouth was available wasn’t much of a surprise, but 'grabbing by the pussy' was not something I had anticipated."
They agreed that Trump was controlled by his ego and his impulses, although they found he had less interest in sex than he wants others to believe.
"This is almost nothing to do with lust," Barrett said. "This is subjugation."
The biographers were deeply concerned about Trump and the threat he poses to America's democratic institutions in the next few weeks -- and potentially for the foreseeable future.
"He’s really destroyed a sense of decency or boundaries or civic behavior in the course of this election that involved almost polluting everything he’s touched in this process," said Timothy O'Brien, author of the 2005 book, "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald."
Trump will likely try to destroy the Republican Party that nominated him, along with the Democratic rival who's likely to defeat him and Americans' confidence in the electoral process, in the next several weeks, O'Brien said.
"I think he is just going to wage a scorch‑the‑earth campaign for the next three weeks, and if he loses, which I think he’s going to -- I think he’s going to lose badly -- he’s then going to come up with a scenario in which it was stolen from him, that the election was rigged, because he’s survived by creating alternate realities," O'Brien said. "He’ll never say to himself he lost because he had a skeletal campaign operation, which he did; that he lost because he’s unappealing to a large swatch of the voters; that he lost because he’s willfully ignorant about public policy; that he lost because he’s a nasty and unappealing bigot. He’ll never, ever acknowledge any of that. He’ll just come up with an alternate reality that said, 'It was rigged against me.'"
The biographers said the same personality flaws that doomed his campaign to failure are the same traits that could convince a man with such deep problems to seek the White House in the first place or force himself on women believing they desired him.
"I think that what Tim is saying is consistent with the guy who would decide to have this campaign in the first place," said Michael D'Antonio, author of "Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success." "You know, who would proceed knowing that he has all of these problems in his background, knowing how much audio and video exists, having been on Howard Stern and said horrible things? He just doesn’t seem to recognize his own issues and problems and how he’s perceived."
Barrett said Trump would be "a very dangerous man the next three or four weeks."
"I think we’ve got a very good preview of what the next several weeks will be like in the debate (Sunday) night," Barrett said. "I thought when he literally prowled the platform or the stage last night, we got a picture of what it’s like in his bedroom while he’s tweeting at 3 a.m. He was barking in the ugliest fashion, saying the ugliest things, and from the moment he got out there, he played the role of a victim."
He's worried Trump would take his frighteningly dark campaign to even darker and more frightening places before, and possibly after, the presidential election.
"We have seen what kind of polarization he can evoke over the course of 15 or 16 months, but I’m afraid that he’s going to attempt to deepen that in profound ways in the coming weeks," Barrett warned. "As recently as the convention, he tried to cool down those who said 'lock her up,' and now he’s saying he would lock her up and even describing the way in which he would do it."
Barrett said the primary button Trump could push to blow up the political system was racism.
"That’s been the undercurrent of the campaign throughout," Barrett said. "Believe it or not, you can be more explicit about it than he has been so far, and he may well go down that path -- and it’s a very dangerous time because he has still a substantial number of Americans who support him, and where he takes them is really quite threatening."