Trump's love of eminent domain nearly cost a widow her house

Ms Coking and her neighbors spent several years in court, but eventually with the assistance of the Institute for Justice they won on July 20, 1998. A state judge rejected the agency’s demand on the narrow grounds that there was no guarantee that Trump would use the land for the specified purpose. “TRUMPED!” blared the front page of the tabloid New York Post.

It wasn’t the only time Trump tried to benefit from eminent domain. In 1994, Trump incongruously promised to turn Bridgeport, Connecticut, into “a national tourist destination” by building a $350m office and entertainment complex on the waterfront. The Hartford Courant reported: “At a press conference during which almost every statement contained the term ‘world class,’ Trump and Mayor Joseph Ganim lavished praise on one another and the development project and spoke of restoring Bridgeport to its glory days.”

But alas, five businesses owned the land. What to do? As the Courant reported: “Under the development proposal described by Trump’s lawyers, the city would become a partner with Trump Connecticut Inc and obtain the land through its powers of condemnation. Trump would in turn buy the land from the city.” The project fell apart, though.