Donald Trump Responds

To the Editor:

One would hope that even public figures would be accorded fair and accurate treatment by The Observer. This is clearly not the case. Your Dec. 18, 2006, article entitled “The Trump Family,” by Tom Acitelli and John Koblin, paints a seriously inaccurate—indeed, false—picture of me and my business dealings.

You accuse me of going bankrupt in the early 1990’s. The public record is clear and unequivocal: I never went bankrupt. But Messrs. Acitelli and Koblin, out of their failure to simply research the truth or for more deliberate reasons, chose to report otherwise.

The writers also claim, based on a Tim O’Brien article in The New York Times, that my siblings had to “bail me out” of my financial situation. Not only is this statement completely false, but Messrs. Acitelli and Koblin’s reliance on the fabrications of Tim O’Brien, who I have sued in a well-publicized lawsuit for millions of dollars based on his defamatory treatment of me and my family, demonstrates the writers’ complete disregard for fact-checking.

The caricature of the Trump family on page 1 of this issue of The Observer deliberately misled your readers with a caption designed to create the false impression that I and members of my family actually posed for an extended period of time for the cover portrait (“Missing at time of sitting: Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump”). We never sat or posed for one minute, but your false caption made it sound as though we participated in this sham story.

Finally, your reporting on the sale of my West Side project lacks the same regard for truth and accuracy as did most of the article. I never agreed with my Hong Kong partners to sell the West Side project, especially at the extremely low price of $1.76 billion, as it was worth much more. Indeed, I have expressed my disagreement with such sale by commencing an action against them.

How The Observer can countenance such inaccurate and mean-spirited reporting, especially when the truth is so readily available, suggests to me that The Observer has abandoned serious journalism and taken a quantum leap into the realm of tabloid sensationalism.

Donald J. Trump


Burning Bridges

To the Editor:

I’m not so sure that Robert Moses would appreciate the honor Columbia University is bestowing on him; he certainly would not have wanted Robert Caro to be any part of a program examining his career [“Robert Moses Returns: Power Broker Spurs Caro-Jackson Bout,” Matthew Schuerman, Jan. 29].

After reading Mr. Caro’s The Power Broker as part of Kenneth Jackson’s urban-history course during my junior year at Columbia in 1979, I sent a letter to Mr. Moses asking him to write an article about the future of New York City for the Columbia Daily Spectator, of which I was editor in chief.

He quickly replied on stationery from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, where he remained a consultant, declining my invitation. He was too busy, he said. But he was also nursing a grievance against Mr. Caro, and against Columbia. “Your President went far out of his way to honor a vicious critic of my work,” Mr. Moses wrote, “describing me as an unscrupulous ‘Power Broker’ directly responsible for the impending ‘Fall of New York.’”

I assume that Mr. Moses was referring to the Pulitzer Prize awarded to Mr. Caro by Columbia for his remarkable book—a book that I remember as the clear highlight of Professor Jackson’s course.

Jim Schachter