WASHINGTON - Nearly four decades ago, after erecting his eponymous skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Donald Trump would sit behind his rosewood desk and muse about working in an even more powerful office.
"These politicians don't know anything," he said. "Maybe I should run for president. Wouldn't that be something?"
Barbara Res, a longtime executive in Trump's real estate company, brushed off the idea right up until he was elected president. Now that he's in the final weeks of his reelection campaign, Res has written a new book titled "Tower of Lies" urging Americans not to give him a second term.
The book recounts racist, anti-Semitic and sexist behavior, along with Trump's ability to lie "so naturally" that "if you didn't know the actual facts, he could slip something past you."
"The seeds of who he is today were planted back when I worked with him," Res wrote. "He was able to control others, through lies and exaggeration, with promises of money or jobs, through threats of lawsuits or exposure. He surrounded himself with yes-men, blamed others for his own failures, never took responsibility, and always stole credit. These tactics are still at work, just deployed at the highest levels of the U.S. government, with all the corruption and chaos that necessarily ensue."
The book, a copy of which was obtained exclusively by the Los Angeles Times ahead of its Oct. 20 release, adds to a growing shelf of election-year treatises flaying the president. Trump has been excoriated in print by Michael Cohen, his former fixer; John Bolton, his third national security adviser; Mary Trump, his niece; and Bob Woodward, the veteran journalist.
Trump's campaign brushed aside the latest entry.
"This is transparently a disgruntled former employee packaging a bunch of lies in a book to make money," said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump's campaign.
In her account, Res wrote that "bigotry and bias control Donald's view of the world, even the so-called positive stereotypes, which are just as damaging, like saying the Japanese (whom he seems to despise) are smarter than Americans."
She recalled Trump berating her when he spotted a Black worker on a construction site.