Donald Trump once called Todd Brassner, the man who died in Sunday’s Trump Tower hotel fire, as a “crazy Jew,” a friend tells the New York Daily News.
The alleged incident occurred back in 1996, according to Patrick Goldsmith, a friend of Brassner.
According to Goldsmith’s account of the incident, he was headed into Trump Tower to visit his friend when he noticed Trump’s “tiny hands” and apparently stared at them too long for the real estate mogul’s liking. Trump has been defensive about the size of his hands since the media first took notice of them in the 1980s, says the Daily News, perhaps due to an urban legend that holds that the size of a man’s hand is indicative of the size of his genitalia. The rumor is sort of true, according to Snopes (long story short, there’s more to it than that), and it has persisted for so long that Trump felt compelled to set the record straight during a televised debate during the 2016 presidential election, according to a Vox report from the time.
“If they’re small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there’s no problem, I guarantee.”
An “enraged” Trump supposedly demanded that the doorman reveal the starer’s identity and whom he was going to see. When the doorman revealed that Goldsmith was on his way to see Brassner, Trump allegedly said, “Oh, that crazy Jew.”
Brassner, for his part, supposedly laughed off the “insult.” Being non-observant, he told his friend “I’m a Hebrew, not a Jew.”
Friends of Todd Brassner remember the man who died in a fire at Trump Tower on Saturday https://t.co/69sA8IQbf8
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 9, 2018
How Trump even knew who Brassner was remains unclear, but Goldsmith believes that two had exchanged words before.
“Apparently he already had a go-round with him about something.”
Goldsmith speculates that it was due to an overflowing sink in his apartment. If this is the case, it would fit with what other Trump Tower residents have said about the plumbing in the building — namely, that it’s “shoddy” and wouldn’t pass muster with any decent plumber, according to a February 2017 New York Magazine report.
At this point, it bears noting that Goldsmith’s account of the supposed beef between Trump and Brassner is his and his alone and has not been corroborated by anyone else.
Other friends of Brassner say that the 67-year-old art collector hated living in Trump Tower, according to BBC News.
“He talked about not living there almost nonstop. He thought that [Trump] was the worst thing for our country.”
Unfortunately for Brassner, once his Manhattan apartment became associated with Trump, “he couldn’t give it away.”