While president Donald Trump undoubtedly still has his loyal supporters, the same offensive and questionably legal attitudes and behaviors that made him extremely unpopular with so many voters during the election continue to be demonstrated by a man who seems to have learned nothing – or who cares nothing – about how he is perceived.
Trump lost the popular vote by nearly three million, but that doesn’t register with him any more than he registers the accuracy with which he is described as a bigot, a racist, a misogynist and an incompetent businessman.
Trump has not given up his relentless bragging about how inexorably great he is at everything he does, from championing women and the working class to building an inpemetrable border wall. But Trump never puts his money where his mouth is, and his reputation as a fraud and a liar continues to grow as more about what he does to the “little guy” (presumably the same little guy he courted as a voter) is revealed.
Case in point: In 2014, a Florida paint store called The Paint Spot, which had done contracted work for Trump, put a lien on the president’s National Doral Miami golf resort for $34,863, the amount Trump owed them on a $200,000 contract for supplies used in a renovation of the property. In what is now his infamous Trump style, the current president simply refused to pay the paint company what it was owed by claiming that he had – contract or not – paid “enough.”
The court disagreed. Last summer, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cuerto, who presided over the case, ordered Trump’s company to pay $32,000 of the money owed to The Paint Spot, plus $390,000 in legal fees. The math is not difficult on this one. If the courts can actually force the grifter-in-chief to pay what is legally owed, he will wind up paying $422,000 for attempting to cheat a small business owner out of $34,863. It’s hard to imagine a world outside of Trump World in which this could be considered a fiscal triumph, but as we’ve seen over and over, Trump doesn’t seem to see the real world the way other people see it.
Donald Trump loves to brag about his business acumen, but this case proves that his true talent lies in stiffing workers who have contracts with him and using his legal team to help him cheat honest people out of what they are legally owed. It also exposes the rotting substructure of his psyche, the swollen ego that sees “winning” as the only goal worth having in life. It confirms once again what we already knew about Trump – that he has and continues to promote and engage in the kind of corrupt and dishonest behavior that undoubtedly contributed to the innumerable law suits filed against him.
As Daniel Vega, the attorney representing The Paint Spot said, “The case should never have reached this stage. . . (but) the property owner refused to ever consider any type of reasonable settlement.”
With Trumpian illogic, it’s likely that Doubledown Don will spin this as a victory. But we know the truth, and this is no victory of any kind. Trump may never stop claiming that he is a winner, but any clear look at this legal loss and his track record of fraud and cheating shows that the man who has declared bankruptcy six times is severely challenged both ethically and fiscally. And he’s not likely to change.