Donald Trump often asked oddly personal questions about staffers' sexuality and made homophobic remarks about those he perceived might be gay, according to a new book.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman's forthcoming book, "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America" reveals that Trump's obsession with appearing to be masculine drives his startling behavior, such as a meeting early in his administration with vice president Mike Pence and campaign aide Jason Miller, whom he declared certainly "likes the ladies," according to excerpts published by The Daily Beast.
“You know how sometimes someone turns out to be gay later and you knew?" Trump said, according to the book. "This guy, he isn’t even like one percent gay.”
Trump was preoccupied with speculation about who in his orbit might be gay, and often mocked Trump Organization executive Alan Marcus as "queer" and “bragged that he paid the executive less," Haberman reported, and former employees said he would show off photos of women with whom he claimed to have known intimately.
“They also recalled Trump mocking gay men, or men who were seen as weak, with the words ‘queer’ or ‘f*ggot,’” Haberman wrote.
Haberman described one episode from a week before the second presidential debate in 2016, when then-adviser Reince Priebus asked Trump a hypothetical question from the point of view of a female transgender student about using the girls' restroom -- prompting a response that prompted stunned silence.
“C*cked or dec*cked?” Trump asked.
An unspecified individual broke the awkward silence by suggesting "dec*cked," and Trump responded by making a chopping gesture.
“With c*ck or without c*ck?” he said, according to Haberman.
An adviser asked what difference that made, and Trump suggested that detail would determine how he answered the question.
“What if a girl was in the bathroom and someone came in, lifted up a skirt, and a schlong was hanging out?" Trump said, according to the book.