The Trump Files: “Always Be Around Unsuccessful People,” Donald Recommends

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Donald Trump loves to insist that he hires the best people. So why has his barely-there campaign fired two campaign managers, tapped a new campaign chairman who’s been accused of domestic violence and voter fraud, signed up white supremacists as delegates, hired staffers who share racist memes, and otherwise seemingly avoided anything like the “best” people available? This quote from a speech Trump made in March may hold the answer.

Trump decided to give an audience at St. Norbert’s College in De Pere, Wisconsin, a lecture on success during a campaign appearance there on March 30. About halfway through, he turned to the topic of the kind of company that successful people should keep.

“You’ll find, when you become very successful, the people that you will like best will be the people that are less successful than you,” he said, “because when you go to a table, you can tell them all these wonderful stories and they’ll sit back and listen. Does that make sense to you? Okay? Always be around unsuccessful people, because everybody will respect you.”

Ironically, a popular businessman had once warned people about the dangers of only being able to hang around lesser lights. The businessman’s name? Donald Trump.

“Some of the most successful people, I’ve noticed, can associate only with people less successful than themselves,” he wrote in Surviving at the Top, his 1990 book. “When they’re around someone who gets more attention than they do and has accomplished more than they have, they display a major personality complex, acting nervous and uneasy—and I’m sure they say vicious things behind the more successful person’s back.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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