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“A Shocking Threat to the World”: Biographer Wayne Barrett on Donald Trump

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Wayne Barrett began covering Donald Trump in the late 1970s. He continues today even though he is largely homebound due to lung cancer. “He’s really not qualified to run the Trump Organization. He’s not fit to run the Trump Organization. So he’s certainly not fit to run America,” Barrett said. “I think he represents not just a danger to America, but because we are such an influence in the world, it’s really a shocking threat to the world. And so, you know, I’m in a sick bed a lot, but he gets me up out of it.”

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Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Wayne, you’ve been doing this work for decades. And here you are, after following Donald Trump for almost half a century, publishing a book again, a revised and updated book, on Donald Trump. What keeps you going?

WAYNE BARRETT: Well, Donald does, these days. I’ve been very sick. And so, I decided, when he started emerging, which was a total surprise to me, really, that he would be this big—so I’ve opened my door here. I’ve had 50, 60 reporters come through here. I kept all my old Trump files. Most of them are in this basement. Some of them are down in the house in Ocean City. And reporters have come through here. One team of two spent three days in my basement. And so, I’ve been an open door to every reporter. I haven’t written much myself—one little piece, but I intend to write some. And, you know, I think it’s a civic duty.

AMY GOODMAN: Why?

WAYNE BARRETT: Well, he’s not—it’s more than that he’s something unlike anything—I mean, you know, I’m a Democrat. I’m a liberal Democrat. I have voted in my life for candidates on the Republican line—not often, but sometimes. But I think that this is a man who is—he’s really not qualified to run the Trump Organization. He’s not fit to run the Trump Organization. So he’s certainly not fit to run America. The Trump Organization is a fairly substantial real estate company—certainly not one of the biggest in Manhattan, as the Times demonstrated. But it’s—you know, it has some impact on some lives. And he’s so unconcerned about the impact that he has on some lives, whether there’s any positive element to it, that I don’t even think he’s fit for that. But I think he represents not just a danger to America, but because we are such an influence in the world, it’s really a shocking threat to the world. And so, you know, I’m in a sickbed a lot, but he gets me up out of it.

AMY GOODMAN: Wayne Barrett, investigative reporter who worked at The Village Voice for 37 years and continues to report. Juan González and I spoke to him last week at his home, where he’s largely been confined due to his battle with lung cancer. Wayne Barrett’s biography of Trump was just republished as an ebook; its title, Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention. Visit our website at democracynow.org to watch, listen to or read Part 1 of our interview with Wayne Barrett that we ran last week.

We have several job openings: a news producer and a senior video news producer, as well as an office coordinator. They’re all full-time jobs based here in New York City. Find out more at democracynow.org.

WATCH MORE OF WAYNE BARRETT ON DONALD TRUMP

'A Classic State Capitalist': How Donald Trump Profited from Public Subsidies & Political Favors

Trump’s 'Greatest Mentor' was Red-Baiting Aide to Joseph McCarthy and Attorney for NYC Mob Families

How Donald Trump Threatened an Investigative Reporter, Attempting to Bribe Him with a Free Apartment

Wayne Barrett on Donald Trump’s Broken Promises, Tax Returns & Potential VP Pick Chris Christie

As Workers at Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino Go on Strike, a Look at Trump’s Long History of Labor Abuse

Trump’s Unofficial Biographer Wayne Barrett: 'The Way He Has Treated His Wives is Just Deplorable'

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Medics, Observers & a Journalist Face 50 Years in Prison in First Trial of J20 Inauguration Protests

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