Eminent domain can be wonderful if it’s put to important public use, say, claiming land for highways, railroads or a pipeline. But Trump got New Jersey pols to use it so he’d have a better space for limousines to park.
Also, under eminent domain, the state is supposed to pay the property owner “just compensation.” But Vera had turned down a million-dollar offer. Instead of raising the bid, Trump got politicians to force Vera to sell for even less. Trump would have to pay just $251,000, a fourth what she’d been offered.
That made Trump a manipulative bully. So I told him that.
“In the old days, developers came in with thugs with clubs. Now you use lawyers!”
“Excuse me! Other people maybe use thugs today. I don’t!” was Trump’s angry answer. “For you to use the word ‘bully,’ John, is very unfair. … It’s a pretty sick assumption, and I think it’s pretty jaded for you to make it.”