The mother of a close friend, probably around the time I was 16, once told me to never put anything in writing. The way she saw it, the permanence of emails, handwritten notes, and text messages always posed a threat: Something could get yanked out of context to hurt you.
I found her warning mildly paranoid. And regardless, I’m now someone who commits word to digital paper for a living. But upon learning today that Donald Trump is publishing private letters he’s exchanged with prominent people over the years, I find myself muttering: Maria was right.
The forthcoming book, Letters to Trump, will feature letters from the likes of Princess Diana, Bill Clinton, and Kim Jong-Un, Axios reports, and will sell for $99 or $399 if you want a signed copy. A 2000 note from Oprah Winfrey reportedly includes the line, “Too bad we’re not running for office. What a team!”
“Sadly, once I announced for President, she never spoke to me again,” Trump writes.
Such hints at nostalgia and regret come as Trump, like the rest of us, is discovering that some of his fiercest confidantes privately hate him. “I hate him passionately,” Tucker Carlson literally wrote in a text message revealed in this week’s latest Dominion Voting Systems filing. “Increasingly mad,” is how Rupert Murdoch described Trump in the days following the 2020 election.
I find it pretty impressive these letters have survived Trump’s alleged habit of clogging toilets and eating paper. But then again, the man still keeps suits and swords from his WWE days around, perhaps as mementos from an era when the world didn’t hate him. Anyway, it’s hard to see how publishing private letters will gain him any new penpals. But at $400 a pop, who needs friends anyway?