Donald Trump Eavesdropped On Staff And Guests At His Florida Resort, Sources Say
Sleazy Donald Trump Is Listening
The multitude of ethical lapses exposed during Donald Trump’s campaign for president could fill the Mariana Trench. From his fraudulent Trump University, to his charity scams, to his bankruptcies, to his pathological lying, Donald Trump has repeatedly proven that he has little use for the morality that guides most decent people, much less what would be required of a national leader.
Now Buzzfeed is reporting that Trump may have engaged in a deplorable act of privacy invasion at his exclusive Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. The report details the accounts of former Mar-A-Lago employees who witnessed Trump listening in on the phone calls of his staff and guests:
“At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump had a telephone console installed in his bedroom that acted like a switchboard, connecting to every phone extension on the estate, according to six former workers. Several of them said he used that console to eavesdrop on calls involving staff.”
Four of the former staffers who revealed Trump’s bedroom phone follies spoke to Buzzfeed on the condition of anonymity due to their having signed non-disclosure agreements. Trump is famously obsessed with binding his associates with such gag orders. His recently fired campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was similarly restrained from commenting about Trump (which, for some inexplicable reason, didn’t top CNN from hiring him as a commentator). One source said he had “direct knowledge that Trump ‘could pick up the phone in the bedroom and listen to any conversation that was going on.'”
Not surprisingly, Trump’s spokesperson, Hope Hicks, denied that he had ever eavesdropped on anyone saying simply that “This is totally and completely untrue.” Another Trump supporter who rejected these charges was his former butler, Anthony Senecal, who may be better known for a Facebook posting calling for President Obama to be shot, and adding that he would personally participate in a hanging.
For anyone who may be reluctant to accept that Trump would behave this atrociously, it should be noted that this isn’t the first time that Trump has been suspected of tapping the phones of his staff. Just last month, following the dismissal of his national political director, the New York Times reported that…
“A sense of paranoia is growing among his campaign staff members, including some who have told associates they believe that their Trump Tower offices in New York may be bugged, according to three people briefed on the conversations.”
Trump Channels Nixon
There appears to be a disturbing pattern forming. Trump is displaying the combination of authoritarianism and paranoia that was emblematic of the Richard Nixon White House. Nixon, of course, was notorious for recording his conversations with White House staff and guests, a breach of ethics that eventually led to his downfall. And if past is prologue, this an ominous portent of the future should Trump manage to emerge victorious in November.
Featured photo composited by Mark Howard of News Corpse from Getty Images by Carlo Allegri, Carl Court, and Joe Raedle.
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Mark Howard is the artist/author responsible for News Corpse, a website dedicated to analysis of the media and the right-wing bias inherent in a corporate-dominated media marketplace. His work has been published by nationally known progressive outlets such as Alternet and Salon. Follow News Corpse on Twitter and Facebook.