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The Donald Takes a Beating While He’s Down

June 7, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ He was riding high in April, shot down in May. Donald Trump’s highly publicized financial woes have turned June into open season on the tycoon, with columnists and cartoonists lining up to kick the man while he’s down.

″The Donald in disarray. Is this a great country or what?″ asked Tony Kornheiser of The Washington Post in a column headlined ″When Trump Went Thump.″

″It’s a cash flow problem. A slump de Trump. From ‘Trump: The Art of the Deal’ to ’Thump 3/8 My Life as a Shlemiel,‴ the column continued.

Despite the mounting abuse, Trump maintained his silence Wednesday while negotiations continued between the developer and his creditors. ″We won’t be making any statements today,″ said Trump spokesman Dan Klores.

His wife, Ivana, was talking Wednesday. She came to Trump’s defense, promising to stand by her estranged husband ″through thick or thin and for better or worse.″

Trump, in need of cash to pay off a reported $30 million debt on June 15, could be forced to sell off some assets - the Trump Shuttle and the Taj Mahal casino have been mentioned - to make the payment. In April, Trump claimed he had no cash flow woes; last month, that turned out to be untrue.

The real estate magnate and casino operator has long been the target of Trump-bashing, even when things were going well. Spy magazine, which dubbed Trump ″the short-fingered vulgarian,″ mounts monthly attacks at him.

But Trump’s legal woes have stepped up the pace.

″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.″

Others suggested The Donald might have trumped up his money misfortunes to keep his estranged wife, Ivana, from getting too big a piece of the pie in any divorce settlement.

″A Trump Stunt?″ asked the Daily News, which quoted an anonymous Ivana pal as saying, ″He is just trying to convince Ivana that he has no money, so she’ll soften up and go easy on him.″

Newsday raised the same possibility in an editorial titled ″Art of the Fall?″

″After all, there’s always the possibility The Donald has pulled off the most artful deal of his career: Could it be an elaborate scam to keep the Empire out of Ivana’s hands?″ it asked.

But in a statement issued through her lawyer, Michael Kennedy, Mrs. Trump made it clear she plans to stand by her man.

″Donald and I are partners in marriage and in business. I will stand beside him through thick or thin and for better or worse,″ said Ivana, who was not alone in refusing to kick Donald while he’s down.

Strangely enough, ex-mayor Ed Koch - a charter member of the ″Down With Donald″ movement - declined to join the Trump-bashers. While at City Hall, Koch constantly feuded with Trump and trashed the multimillionaire developer as ″piggy, piggy, piggy.″

″I don’t believe in kicking someone when they are down, so I have nothing to say about Donald Trump,″ Koch said. ″Call me when he’s back on his feet.″

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