“The numbers then are getting up there into the Weinstein and Cosby and Epstein type numbers.” So says Barry Levine, co-author with Monique El-Faizy of a new book, “All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the making of a Predator.” The numbers Levine refers to are the total number that he and El-Faizy are able to establish thus far – 67 as it turns out – of women Donald Trump has violated, and by violated they mean anything from unwelcome touching to rape.
The book details a particularly disturbing example, back in the 1980s, when he was a mere real estate swindler, and was many years away from his experiments with treason, emoluments violations and collusion with foreign powers, Trump asked a mafia thug whose prostitutes he’d been visiting if he could arrange a threesome. There was a particular porn star Trump favored, and he wanted the thug to arrange something with her and “a very young girl.” Levine and El-Faizy were only able to establish that the “young girl” in question was a teenager, making it a two in seven chance that the girl in question was of legal age. But they did track down a witness who claimed the teenager looked, “just like Jodie Foster when she was in ‘Taxi Driver.’” For the record, Foster was 12 when she made that film.
The investigative reporting done by the pair effectively tripled the number of women previously known who have lodged allegations of sexual misconduct against the president. Each of these allegations are carefully documented in the book. Many of the women were reluctant to give their names. Some changed their minds about talking to the pair at all, fearing reprisals from the now much more powerful Trump.
“One woman who I focused on, Karen Johnson,” Levine explains, “who was groped and attacked at Mar-a-Lago at a New Year’s Eve party, it took two months of working with her before she felt comfortable coming forward.” If one takes as valid the common statistic that only about a third of all sexual assaults are reported, Levine’s and El-Faizy’s research suggests that the actual number of Trump victims runs into the hundreds.
“Eventually [Trump] realized there were easier ways to get young women and he bought a beauty pageant,” El-Faizy said, “and he exercized what he told Howard Stern was what he believed was his owner’s prerogative, and he would just walk back stage. A lot of the pageant contestants would talk about how he would size them up as if they were cattle.” Recall that Trump, in a typically wrong indulgence in one of his self-assessment fantasies, has said, “No one respects women more than I do.” To that El-Faizy says, “He really objectified them and made them feel dirty and used.”
It is a feature of the life of Donald Trump that there seems to be no aspect of it that is normal, no part of his daily affairs in the world of men and women that is not without sleaze, or an angle, or a con, or a lie, or an underhanded dealing, or about inflating his ego, or about getting even with a perceived wrong, or satisfying an unnatural desire at the expense and without the permission of another. It is sickening to contemplate that a man for whom nothing good can be said has been elected president of the United States. If you had asked me four years ago if I thought such a thing could ever happen, I would have told you no. I would have insisted that you cannot rise to the presidency without at least possessing some qualities of decency. “All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the making of a Predator,” is a book that reminds us that such a thing is possible, and Donald Trump is the proof.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.