A former Trump Organization executive said that President Trump attempted to get the architect of Trump Tower to remove braille inside the building’s elevators because “no blind people are going to live in Trump Tower,” even after being told that excluding the tactile writing system is against federal law.
Barbara Res, a former vice president in charge of construction at the Trump Organization, recounted the incident in an opinion piece for the New York Daily News on Wednesday.
“What’s this?” Trump reportedly asked the architect after noticing the small raised dots.
“Braille,” the architect responded.
Trump apparently demanded that the architect take the braille out.
“We can’t,” the architect replied. “It’s the law.”
“Get rid of the [expletive] braille. No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower,” Trump shouted, according to Res. “Just do it.”
Res wrote that Trump grew angrier as the architect pushed back. Trump allegedly called the architect weak.
“Did he think the architect would remove the Braille from the panels? Never,” Res wrote. “I had seen him do this kind of thing before and would again. He would say whatever came into his head. Ordering an underling to do something that was impossible gave Trump the opportunity to castigate a subordinate and also blame him for anything that ‘went wrong’ in connection with the unperformed order later. A Trump-style win-win.”
Res noted in the op-ed that whenever Trump made similar requests, she often pushed back but other times “played along with him and then didn’t carry out his order.”
Trump ordered “outrageous or just plain stupid ideas, both legal and illegal. Sometimes those lines were blurred,” Res wrote.
Res said she brought up the incident to draw a parallel between her time working in the Trump Organization and the absurd alleged exchanges detailed by investigative journalist Bob Woodward in his new book Fear: Trump in the White House.
“Trump is really not all that different now, but the stakes are higher,” she wrote. “And there aren’t many order refusers anymore.”
Res ends her piece by saying that Trump’s requests are not directed at carpenters or painters anymore, but “about alienating allies, cozying up to dictators and employing dangerous nonsensical economic tactics.”
“The self-aggrandizing Anonymous wants the world to know that there are adults in the room,” she writes. “Really? What the hell are they doing?”