‘Always Get Even:’ 10 Quotes Trump’s Lawyers Don’t Want Jurors to See

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump has long boasted about his business acumen and relationships with women, but now his lawyers are trying to prevent those comments from coming back to haunt him at trial.

Most Read from Bloomberg

Trump is trying to keep Manhattan state prosecutors from telling the jury at the upcoming hush-money case about 94 different statements Trump has made, including in the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

His lawyers said in a filing that was unsealed Monday that the public statements are “irrelevant, stale and cumulative.” They argued that quotes attributed to him in books Trump co-authored with ghostwriters “may not even be his.”

Trump is set to go on trial March 25 in New York state court for allegedly trying to buy and bury salacious news ahead of the 2016 election in violation of campaign finance laws. Prosecutors say he directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to make the payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with him a decade earlier. Trump, who has pleaded not guilty, said the payments were legal fees.

Cohen, who has become a fierce critic of Trump, will likely be the prosecution’s star witness. Prosecutors said the statements are fair game.

Trump’s own words show “the careful attention defendant paid to his finances; his expertise regarding campaign finance requirements; his ‘philosophy of aggressively going after anyone who crosses him,’” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo said in letter to the court released online.

Here’s some of the statements Trump’s lawyers don’t want the jury to hear:

April, 26, 2018 “Fox and Friends”

  • “Michael [Cohen] would represent me on some things. He represents me — like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal he represented me. And, you know, from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds going into this.”

Oct. 2016 speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

  • “They’re trying to poison the mind of the American voter. Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign, total fabrication, the events never happened, never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

May 3, 2018, Twitter post

  • “Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are very common among celebrities and people of wealth.”

Oct. 8, 1999, Interview with CNN’s Larry King

  • “I think nobody knows more about campaign finance than I do, because I’m the biggest contributor.”

2007 “Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life”

  • “My motto is: Always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.”

2004 “How to Get Rich”

  • “Be paranoid. I know this observation doesn’t make any of us sound very good, but let’s face the fact that it’s possible that even your best friend wants to steal your spouse and your money.”

2007 “Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and in Life”

  • “I used to say, ‘Go out and get the best people, and trust them.’ Over the years I have seen too many shenanigans, and now I say, ‘Get the best people, and don’t trust them.’ Do not trust them because if you don’t know what you are doing they are going to rob you blind. I know dozens of sophisticated business people who hired accountants and lawyers and others, and they trusted them. They got killed. They lost their businesses.”

2004 “Think Like a Millionaire”

  • “When Spy magazine started years ago, they decided to do a ‘Who Is the Cheapest Millionaire?’ test. They sent checks in amounts from fifty cents to five dollars to a list of millionaires throughout the country. I received a check for fifty cents, and we at the Trump Organization deposited it. They may call that cheap; I call it watching the bottom line.”

2004 “How to Get Rich”

  • “All the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected. A sexual dynamic is always present between people, unless you are asexual.”

March 15, 2023, Truth Social post

  • “I did NOTHING wrong in the ‘Horse face’ case,” Trump said, referring to Daniels. “I see she showed up in New York today trying to drum up some publicity for herself. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since I took a picture with her on a golf course, in full golf gear including a hat, close to 18 years ago.”

  • “Never had an affair with her, just another false acquisition by a Sleazebag. Witch Hunt!”

The case is People of the State of New York v. Donald J. Trump, Index No. 71543-34, Supreme Court of the State of New York County (Manhattan).

--With assistance from Erik Larson.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.