National Post, May 17, 2017: Why does Donald Trump behave in the dangerous and seemingly self-destructive ways he does?
Three decades ago, I spent nearly a year hanging around Trump to write his first book, The Art of the Deal, and got to know him very well. I spent hundreds of hours listening to him, watching him in action and interviewing him about his life. For me, none of what he has said or done over the past four months as president comes as a surprise. The way he has behaved over the past week — firing FBI Director James Comey, undercutting his own aides as they tried to explain the decision and then disclosing sensitive information to Russian officials — is also entirely predictable.
Early on, I recognized that Trump’s sense of self-worth is forever at risk. When he feels aggrieved, he reacts impulsively and defensively, constructing a self-justifying story that doesn’t depend on facts and always directs the blame to others.