All of our presidents did things in their youth that they were not particularly proud of: George Washington chopped down that cherry tree; Bill Clinton famously didn’t inhale, but Barack Obama did. And when he was 30, George W. Bush was caught driving under the influence. (He quit drinking for good ten years later.)
Donald Trump has been a teetotaller from the jump, but when he was 33, his company evicted a 74-year-old widow from her Queens apartment. As Joe Conason reported in the May 5, 1980, edition of the Voice, the Trump Organization sent “three big fat men” to Mary Filan’s apartment to clear both her belongings and her bedridden body out of the building on Barclay Avenue in Flushing.
Filan, who had recently suffered a stroke, told Conason, “They said they’d come to put me on the street because I owed four months rent. I don’t owe back rent. The last thing I got from Trump was a bill for $10.20, about two weeks ago, and I sent that. They just want me out because they can get twice as much rent.”
When Conason followed up with Trump’s spokesman, he was told, “The Trumps don’t get involved in any of that.” The spokesman added that he didn’t know why Mary Filan had been evicted, and Conason further reported that Filan didn’t “give loud parties, or cause property damage, or threaten her neighbors, who are actually fond of her.” Conason also discussed the generous tax exemptions Trump was getting around the city, concluding: “Two thoughts persist: How would Donald Trump feel if some corporation evicted his ill and aging parent, without notice or compassion, removing all possessions to some unknown location? And how does Trump manage to have taxpayers subsidize so many of his enterprises?”
Well, Trump couldn’t give up drinking, because he never started. Maybe he should’ve given up evicting tenants who had never done anything wrong instead.