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Trump’s latest book: He loves it!

November 17, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Donald J. Trump is promoting his book, which in turn promotes Donald J. Trump and his recovery from a $975 million hole that nearly sent The Donald to The Dumps. In his new effort, Trump makes a rare admission: His financial woes were his own fault.

The Donald has learned his lesson. Book promotion now takes a backseat to business.

And so a noon interview is slowly pushed back ... 12:10 ... 12:20 ... 12:30. Trump is on an important conference call; the question and answer session must wait. And so it does, until Trump can finally hang up the phone in his Trump Tower office, high above Manhattan.

``How did you like the book?″ he inquires, and one thing quickly becomes clear: Not as much as Trump does.

He absolutely loves ``Trump: The Art of the Comeback,″ the tale of his return from near-bankruptcy to a personal net worth estimated at $1.4 billion by Forbes magazine. (Trump, by the way, says it’s more like $3.7 billion.)

In his book, the developer offers Trump’s Top Ten Comeback Tips for folks intent on duplicating his success _ an eclectic list that starts with No. 1, ``Play golf,″ and ends with No. 10, ``Always have a prenuptial agreement.″

At times it seems Trump must have written his book with one hand _ much of its 244 pages features The Donald patting himself on The Back over his business and personal dealings.

``I believe this book is the best of my three,″ allows Trump.

Trump, whose previous books ``Art of the Deal″ and ``Surviving At Top″ were best-sellers, doesn’t shy from his personal life this time out. He discusses his two failed marriages, to Ivana and then to Marla.

His conclusion: It was their fault.

Ivana wanted to talk too much about work. Marla Maples went the other way, demanding he come home each day by 5 p.m.

Neither woman agreed with Trump’s versions. ``That’s a lie, that’s not true,″ Maples told the Daily News.

Ivana, through spokeswoman Catherine Sexton, said she was ``very upset. She thought this was all behind her and the children.″

Trump, unfazed, stands by his comments. There is a happy medium between the attitudes of his two wives, he said, ``but I haven’t been able to find it. I’m working on it.″

Don’t work too hard, though. In his book, Trump admits that he advised a close friend _ a professional golfer _ to dump his hectoring wife and focus on his game.

``I think I’ll get heat for that,″ Trump allows. ``But to be honest, I really feel that way. If you’re not born supportive, you’re never going to develop that. And the husband is never going to love the wife. He’ll always think she’s holding him back.″

The book opens with a section on Trump’s early ’90s financial plunge and subsequent bounce back.

How low did Trump go?

In the summer of 1990, a game of ``All Pile on The Donald″ broke out when his financial woes went public. Trump was placed on a monthly allowance. The ordinarily press-hungry developer offered ``no comments.″

``At last, all of us who’ve so loved the game of kicking Donald Trump while he’s up will have the fiendish thrill of kicking Donald Trump while he down,″ wrote New York Newsday columnist Robert Reno.

A New York Post cartoon showed a bedraggled Donald panhandling from inside the ``Trump Carton.″

And then things got worse.

On March 26, 1991, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times ran page one stories about his crushing financial problems. The same day, Trump claims, his estranged wife Ivana _ concerned that her chunk of Trump’s change was disappearing _ called and demanded the $10 million promised in their pre-nup.

Immediately.

Once things turned around, Trump found a new outlet for his energies: Revenge. ``I just think if somebody goes out of their way to hurt you, well, an eye for an eye,″ Trump says.

He also finds time to gloat. ``I think the best thing is that my lifestyle is great,″ Trump says. ``I enjoy what I do. I’m the biggest real estate developer in New York. That’s real cool.″

But there are drawbacks to being Donald. He has to shake hands, and hands, he says, are just crawling with germs. ``It comes from common sense,″ he says. ``It’s just a bad custom.″

The solution? Richard Blaine, executive director of a group called the New York Center for the Strange, which offers annual predictions, offered this one for 1998.

``Reacting to Donald Trump’s assertion in his new book that he hates shaking hands ... people will greet him by extending a single finger,″ Blaine offers.

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