“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” These words are among Donald Trump’s utterances on the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape that surfaced just before the 2020 election. In this particular hot-mic exchange, Trump was referring to women, putting his misogyny on full display.
While Trump’s sense of entitlement with women is disturbing enough, it doesn’t end there. In Trump’s narcissistic mind, the whole world exists for him to ravage. Whether he has his sights set on a person, place, or thing, Trump proceeds as if he is some sort of owner. As the walls close in on Trump and his desperation grows, his pathological claims of ownership are showing no signs of letting up.
Trump is claiming that nine White House files seized during the FBI’s lawful search of Mar-a-Lago are his “personal” property (even after first accusing the FBI of planting evidence). In a letter to Special Master Raymond Dearie on Thursday, the DOJ slammed Trump’s delusion, noting that “documentary material” that a President officially creates or receives is government property destined for the National Archives, under the Presidential Records Act.
Trump announced another outlandish ownership claim Friday on Fox News. According to Trump, journalist Bob Woodward’s recordings of his interviews with him, which Woodward includes in his upcoming audiobook, supposedly “belong” to Trump. “In many ways, I like the tapes, I insist on tapes, but I also say the tapes belong to me,” Trump whined, despite admitting that Woodward set up and recorded the interviews. Trump proceeded to call Woodward “a very sleazy guy.”
Trump has been playing this deranged ownership game his whole life. As one earlier example, British journalist Selina Scott interviewed Trump while in a helicopter over Manhattan in 1995. According to Scott, Trump claimed he was the sole owner of the Empire State Building. When she challenged Trump’s ownership claim, he revised his ownership claim down to 80%, then 50%, according to a Trump Files episode. After Scott reported the exchange in her film, Trump called her “very sleazy,” “unattractive,” “obnoxious,” and “boring.”
Trump already owns the bragging rights for becoming the first President of the United States to be impeached twice. The next thing Trump needs to own is bragging rights for becoming the first President of the United States to be indicted for criminal conduct. Though it may not happen as soon as we want, at the rate things are going, it may happen sooner than we think.