In several anecdotes, an upcoming book on Donald Trump’s presidency by New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman – entitled Confidence Man – shows his obsession with the possibility of LGBTQ people working for him, including when he asked whether an imaginary trans student was “With cock or without cock?”
Haberman’s book presents Trump as an uncouth chauvinist who was overly concerned with the sexuality and gender expression of the people around him and often tried to talk about whether men are gay.
“They also recalled Trump mocking gay men, or men who were seen as weak, with the words ‘queer’ or ‘fa***t,’” Haberman wrote, paraphrasing information gleaned from former Trump employees. She wrote that he would mock gay employees, but never to their faces.
Former Trump Organization executive Alan Marcus said that Trump would “belittle” another executive just because Trump thought that he was gay and “bragged that he paid the executive less.” He would also call the executive “queer.”
In another incident, Trump had a meeting with Mike Pence and the former communications director for his campaign, Jason Miller, where Trump said that Miller “likes the ladies.”
“You know how sometimes someone turns out to be gay later and you knew?” Trump allegedly said. “This guy, he isn’t even like one percent gay.”
While the Trump administration made its mark with its constant attacks on transgender equality – especially on transgender youth – even the Republicans he surrounded himself with were shocked by his vulgar language for talking about trans issues.
In one story described in the book, Trump was preparing for a presidential debate in 2016 when adviser Reince Priebus played the role of a transgender student asking him about bathroom policies.
“Cocked or decocked?” asked Trump in response to the question, according to the book.
Haberman said that he was met with a “blank stare” from the group and someone eventually asked: “Decocked?”
Trump then made a “chopping gesture” and said, “With cock or without cock?”
“What difference does that make?” someone asked.
“What if a girl was in the bathroom and someone came in, lifted up a skirt, and a schlong was hanging out,” Trump responded.
Trump’s behavior towards LGBTQ people allegedly goes back decades, to when he would ask reporters if other people he shook hands with were gay.
According to Haberman’s sources, Trump often assumed that staffers of color at the White House were waiters.
“Why don’t you get” the food,” Trump told a group of diverse Democratic staffers at a 2017 White House reception. Priebus, who was White House chief of staff by then, told Trump that they were top congressional aides and then went to look for the actual waiters.
Later during the same reception, Trump told Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that the only reason he lost the popular vote to Secretary Hillary Clinton was because “illegals” voted in the 2016 election.
“I don’t believe so, Mr. President,” Pelosi replied.