BY BARBARA A. RES NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 3:43 PM
I worked with and for Trump over a period of about 18 years, from 1978 to 1996. I started out as an employee of the company that built the Hyatt Hotel, then served as his vice president in charge of construction of Trump Tower, later as his executive vice president in charge of development and finally as a consultant.
In 18 years, Trump changed as much as he stayed the same, and we went from being almost friends to total strangers. I think of Trump now as a celebrity. He is best known as a TV star, not a builder. They call him a developer, but mostly he just licenses his name. He no longer gets involved in looking at plans or talking to contractors as he did in my day.
When I worked for Donald, especially in the early days, you could just walk into his office. At least, I could. I spent time with him every single day when we did Trump Tower. Not so much after that project, although we did spend a lot of time together when I was doing the Plaza. When I started with Trump there were eight or nine people in his office. He used to answer the phone in the morning when no one was there. We walked to meetings together. There were no bodyguards. He was totally approachable and accessible. When he hired his long-time assistant, that all started to change. In time, she became his gatekeeper; later she became a vice president and had her own gatekeeper.
Now he has an entourage. But in the beginning, Donald was a very rich but otherwise ordinary man.
Later, he would hire and promote many people with questionable qualifications. I could see, over time, his growing need to be coddled and agreed with, the kind of need that leads to being surrounded by yes-sayers. Now, one only has to watch his public appearances to know that Trump is not getting professional advice as to how to conduct himself. He is not being handled by anyone.
While wanting to be liked was a vice in me, Trump will tell you that everyone likes him. This is not the case. He can be very charming and ingratiating, but he is not nice. In my experience, he is nasty to the people who work for him. He can be very abusive and curt. He has an incredible temper and he lashes out at everyone, including Ivana.
Of all the people I know who worked for or with Trump, including contractors, lawyers, architects, employees, only a very few actually like him. Some respect him, some don't. Many hate his guts.
What about the way Trump talks about women? Well, I can tell you this kind of behavior wasn't prevalent until the time he became involved with Marla Maples. He started talking a lot about all the women he was intimate with, bragging about being with top models, movie stars. Then he began talking about women, in public, in terms of their physical attributes. He became very macho.