Former New York Post reporter Susan Mulcahy covered Donald Trump when he was a real estate developer in the 1980s. Now, she still wakes up mornings stunned that he’s the president.
“He’s a pathological liar. I’ve said that repeatedly and I’ve been saying it since the 80s. He has two sports, golf and lying, and that’s it. He just lies about everything,” Mulcahy told The Guardian in an interview published Friday. “What you’re seeing now is what you saw 30 years ago.”
Mulcahy covered celebrities for the newspaper as a writer and later editor of its high-profile gossip site Page Six. Despite the drama queens she dealt with daily, Trump still stood out — primarily because of the downright audacity of his lies and because he’s a “narcissist beyond description,” she said.
If he goofed up, he’d just lie about it and pretend it never happened, Mulcahy noted when asked about stunning reports that Trump is now questioning the legitimacy of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape where he can be heard talking about “grabbing” women’s genitals.
“Most people have an alibi or a backup plan; Trump doesn’t do that,” she told The Guardian. “He just says the exact opposite of what he did five minutes ago.”
She recalls in her 1988 book, My Lips Are Sealed: Confessions of a Gossip Columnist, that Trump flat-out denied he had a meeting with Richard Nixon when Nixon was seeking an apartment — until the meeting was confirmed by Nixon’s office. Nixon, of all people, turned out to be a more reliable source of information than Trump.
It’s not that people don’t lie to reporters. But it was different with Trump, Mulcahy told The Guardian. “The way he lied I had never experienced before,” she said.
Mulcahy believes Trump would grow bored with his job if he weren’t always the center of attention. She wishes it were possible to cover Trump’s administration without paying so much attention to Trump himself. “He would lose interest in the whole thing as soon as it wasn’t all about him,” she said.
“I thought he would be a lounge act in Atlantic City about now,” she added. “If so, he’d be happier, and the rest of us would have much less to worry about.”