Contrary to reports of him relaxing in the sun and soaking up the adulation at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Donald Trump says he’s “writing like crazy” right now — even though he also says he turned down two book deals “from the most unlikely publishers.”
That’s according to a statement from the ex-president on Friday, which read, “I turned down two book deals, from the most unlikely of publishers, in that I do not want to do such a deal right now. I’m writing like crazy anyway, however, and when the time comes, you’ll see the book of all books. Actually, I’ve been working on a much more important project right now!”
One reason for such a seemingly random public comment is that Mr Trump is reportedly jealous of his vice-president Mike Pence’s major book deal, according to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. No such deal has been reported for Mr Trump.
“Pence’s book deal is said to have been grating on him,” the Times correspondent wrote on social media on Friday.
In April, it was reported that Mr Pence inked a seven-figure, two-book deal with Simon & Schuster, becoming a rare Trump official to secure such a contract after the administration’s ignominious final chapter of pro-Trump attacks on the Capitol.
Anonymous sources in the publishing industry told CNN at the time the deal is worth roughly $4m.
If anyone knows the power of a memoir, it’s Donald Trump. His ghost-written book, The Art of the Deal, established him as an accomplished businessman in the eyes of the public ever though Mr Trump actually has a business record of bankruptcies and warring with former partners.
(The ghostwriter of the book, Tony Schwartz, has since disavowed Mr Trump and the book.)
The latest news is another break in post-presidential tradition for Mr Trump.
Normally, former presidents spend their time giving speeches, working on their memoirs, setting up a presidential library, and maybe jetting off somewhere to lend their prestige in an international crisis.
Not so for Donald Trump. He has reportedly continued to do what he spent a great deal of time doing while in office: hanging out and seeking praise from his die-hard supporters.
The former president now spends much of his time at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida. There, guests have captured him strolling through the grounds to rapturous applause, snapping selfies with guests, handing out cash, and even wearing the same outfit for multiple days in a row he’s so comfortable.
Some have suggested he may not have a presidential library at all, given the difficulty he may now have in raising private funds for such a project.