Don and Ivanka, do you guys want to be known as real estate builders, or do you want to have a national profile?
Mr. Trump: We’re a real estate family, not a television family.
Don: If we have the ability to add value by having a show where we can showcase our products and be out there with the real estate and everything that we’re doing, it would be stupid to not do it. We’d be shmucks if we left that opportunity on the table to say, ‘You know what? I want to lie in the background and not do any of that.’
Speaking of advertising, Ivanka, you’re not only working on the building, but you’re in the ads. I think it says, ‘Own a Piece of SoHo,’ and there you are. Does it bother you that you’re on ads? Would you prefer to simply be behind the scenes and a builder?
Ivanka Trump: Not at all.
Mr. Trump: Well, we all decided as a group with Don and with the Sapir family that Ivanka—who was a very successful model before she dropped that and went to Wharton—that Ivanka could represent the face of the building.
Did they decide that or did you decide that?
Ivanka: We …
Mr. Trump: We all did. We decided together as two families. Because, obviously, she’s very pretty but she also is very much involved in the building. So it was very natural that she would be the face of the building.
You just became a grandpa this year, and, last year, a new father. Why not just spend the rest of your days in Westchester?
Ivanka: It’s all part of his genetic code.
Mr. Trump: It’s not like guys in the corporate world … they retire and then they quickly expire! They have nothing to do, they’re bored. They play golf for a year and then after that they get bored and they keel over, that’s the end of them.
Don: That’s our grandfather’s great saying: ‘To retire is to expire.’
Mr. Trump: In this business, nobody ever retires, they love it. It’s in the blood. You ever think of that?
Do you find it equally enjoyable when you license your name to things, like Trump Financial?
Mr. Trump: I find it very enjoyable when things turn out very well. Trump Financial is going to turn out very well; you know it’s with a good company now. That was a licensing deal, that was purely a licensing deal. We licensed it to one, we didn’t like the group, and now we’re with a group we do like.
You mean Trump Mortgage? Which didn’t work out; it had a CEO résumé-inflation problem.
Who? What’s your next question?
Are there certain new developments you see that you hate, and certain things that you love?
Well, I would have liked to have seen the World Trade Center re-created as it was, but taller and stronger. As opposed to what they’re doing, I think it would have been a better symbol, it would have sent a better message.