Now, I wouldn’t think this was the way to ingratiate yourself with Iowan evangelicals—or most people, actually.
But maybe I’m just behind the times.
I hadn’t heard about this until now [hat tip: commenter “Jim“], or I probably would have incorporated the story into this post from earlier today. At any rate, it’s relevant to the topic of Trump’s treatment of people who don’t do as he would like them to, as I think you’ll see when you read it—and I suggest you read the whole thing, because the excerpt really doesn’t convey the flavor of what happened:
Donald Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to attack one of rival Ted Cruz’s more influential Iowa endorsers, Christian conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats.
“This plays to Trump’s judgment and temperament,” Vander Plaats told The Des Moines Register in response. “He will burn anybody.”
Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, unleashed multiple tweets critical of Vander Plaats, calling the CEO of the Family Leader “phony” and a “bad guy.”
“Why doesn’t phony @bobvanderplaats tell his followers all the times he asked for him and his family to stay at my hotels-didn’t like paying,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
…Early on when Trump was considering running for president in 2016, he courted Vander Plaats…
“He invited my wife, Darla, and me to come to New York and he made sure we stayed with him, and he’d be offended if we stayed with anyone but him. And he refused payment,” Vander Plaats said…
Okay, that’s the background. This is the far more important part, in my opinion:
On Twitter, Trump followed up by tweeting Vander Plaats “begged me to do an event while asking organizers for $100,000 for himself — a bad guy!”
Vander Plaats replied “@realDonaldTrump you know that’s not true. I gave you an introduction and opportunity and you charged the guy $100K. May work in NY not IA.”
The back story there, Vander Plaats told the Register, is that in late 2014, he suggested that a good way for Trump to meet Iowans would be to come to the annual real estate conference hosted by Steve Bruere of Peoples Company.
…Trump charged Bruere money for his presence at the 2015 conference, even though Vander Plaats said he warned Trump that “he should not be charging to come into Iowa. That is not a good impression.”
Peoples Co. officials confirmed to the Register that the company paid Trump $100,000.
Vander Plaats said he was paid nothing for introducing Trump to Bruere, and no donation was made to the Family Leader….
“He’s trying to discredit my endorsement. I’m sure he’s not happy,” Vander Plaats said. “I was warned about this by plenty of others — if you don’t endorse him, watch out.”
And I think that Trump is well aware that others reading this story—people he would like to fall in line with him—will get the message, loud and clear, about the costs of disobeying.
As I said, read the whole thing. This really hasn’t been covered all that much, although it obviously is making the Iowa papers.
It certainly appears as though Trump is lying in this case about the fee; here’s the evidence. If so, this fits in perfectly with what I’ve already observed of Trump’s behavior, particularly what I learned from the Aberdeen story: if you cross him, he will attack you, and truth is no obstacle for him.