Trump has no real friends at Mar-a-Lago, a Florida billionaire told the Financial Times.
Despite the atmosphere of adulation, it’s “all transactional,” Jeff Greene told the newspaper.
Journalists have long noted Trump’s love of relationships with the rich and famous.
A billionaire who lives near Trump in Florida says former President Donald Trump was not surrounded by real friends at the club, according to the Financial Times.
Real estate mogul Jeff Greene told the newspaper that the atmosphere of adulation there was “all transactional”.
The newspaper said Greene joined the club as a member of Mar-a-Lago in 2010. It was unclear whether he would remain a member of the club.
Trump is well known for holding court among his allies and admirers in his Florida home, often absorbing applause when he walks into the room, as filmmaker Alex Holder said earlier this year.
And the FT described the many fans – including wealthy ‘Trumpettes’ – who flock to Mar-a-Lago and praise the former president. Greene suggested this was all wrong.
Asked about Trump’s close friends, Greene told the newspaper, “I don’t think he has any friends.”
He said someone he knows who plays golf with Trump ‘all the time’ was never invited to the White House when Trump was president, implying that Trump didn’t really care about him .
In 2018, Greene unsuccessfully tried to run for governor of Florida as a Democrat, eight years after a 2010 bid for the US Senate.
Before the 2018 campaign — when Trump appeared to take offense at an attack ad put out by Greene — the couple had a cordial relationship, Greene told the newspaper.
But that was largely due to his wealth, Greene suggested. “He would come to my table, I think because I was a billionaire,” he told the FT. “He likes billionaires.”
It’s a characterization that also appeared in “Confidence Man,” the recent book by Trump-watching New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
In an excerpt seen by Insider, Trump felt his time as president was worth it because he’s made “so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are.” Haberman wrote that she found the remark “shocking” when Trump said it.
Speaking of the legions of fans who gravitate to Trump’s club, Greene told the newspaper, “They want to be around him because he’s the ex-president.”
Trump “likes people to come up to him…and tell him how good he is,” Greene told the FT.
Despite this, Greene said he felt more welcome at Mar-a-Lago than at other clubs.
Others, like far-right British politician Nigel Farage, told the newspaper he considered Trump a “good friend” who “meant him” when he said in 2016 that they would be friends for life. .
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, sent on Thanksgiving Day.
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