When Donald Trump was preparing to debate Hillary Clinton in 2016, he had an oddly specific question for an imaginary transgender student: “Cock or without cock?”
This scene of crude, transphobic behavior is just one of the revelations in New York Times Trump reporter Maggie Haberman’s soon-to-be-released book.
Haberman presents Trump as a boorish homophobe obsessed with sexuality and appearing masculine—often to the horror of his aides—and details a number of instances, over the course of decades, when Trump’s true colors shone through.
According to an excerpt obtained by The Daily Beast, a week before the second debate unfolded in St. Louis in 2016, Trump’s close adviser at the time, Reince Priebus, presented the aspiring political figure with a question on same-sex bathrooms.
In playing the role of a female transgender student, Priebus asked Trump whether this hypothetical student could still use the girl’s bathroom.
Without missing a beat, Trump said he had a question.
“Cocked or decocked?” Trump asked.
Offering up a “blank stare,” the group was taken aback.
“Decocked?” an unspecified individual in the room responded.
Trump then began making “a chopping gesture.” “With cock or without cock?” he said.
At that moment, his advisers sitting within Trump Tower had come to understand that Trump wanted to know if the imaginary student had transitioned and undergone bottom surgery.
“What difference does that make?” an adviser in the room responded to Trump. The now-former president shot back that such a determination would impact his answer.
“What if a girl was in the bathroom and someone came in, lifted up a skirt, and a schlong was hanging out,” Trump continued, according to Haberman’s book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.
Throughout the book, Haberman details how the now-former president would also frequently engage in guessing who might be gay.
For example, when the AIDS virus began spreading in New York City in the early ’80s, Trump phoned reporters to find out if people he’d met and shook hands with were gay.
But that was mild for the early Trump years.
Trump’s conversations with associates would frequently lead toward “lurid detail[s]” of sexually explicit topics. It was more than 30 years after the fact, the book contends, that even after the Access Hollywood tape became public, Trump would refer to his hot-mic moment on grabbing women by the “pussy” as merely “locker-room talk.”
“Those who heard him speak were often struck by the fact that he appeared to be trying to shock,” Haberman wrote.
It was again in the ’80s, while he was at a black-tie dinner with his first wife, Ivana Trump, when the topic of Brazilian women came up.
“They have so much pussy hair,” Trump said.
According to Haberman, New York City socialite Tony Gliedman’s wife, Ginny, stared at Trump as he dove into how Brazilian women have to wax frequently.
“If Ivana had heard her husband, she did not react,” Haberman wrote.
Haberman did not return a request for comment.
Elsewhere in the book, former Trump employees said the now ex-president would show off photos of women he knew intimately as a display of his “masculinity.”
“They also recalled Trump mocking gay men, or men who were seen as weak, with the words ‘queer’ or ‘faggot,’” Haberman continued.
Trump also tended to bully those who were gay, not to their faces. Instead, behind closed doors.
In particular, former Trump Organization executive Alan Marcus said Trump would “belittle” another executive that Trump believed was gay as a “queer” and “bragged that he paid the executive less.”
Additionally, The New York Times reporter explained how Trump would have strange obsessions over whether or not specific people both inside and outside his orbit were gay.
In the early days of the administration, during a meeting with then-Vice President Mike Pence and ex-communications campaign boss Jason Miller, Trump deemed that the latter “likes the ladies.”
Trump, according to the book, further said of Miller: “You know how sometimes someone turns out to be gay later and you knew? This guy, he isn’t even like one percent gay.”