Trump: In his own words



NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Below are excerpts from Donald Trump's deposition conducted on Dec. 19-20, 2007, in his lawsuit against author Timothy O'Brien and Warner Books, then owned by Time Warner, CNN's parent company.

Andrew Ceresney served as the attorney for the defense.

On the damage the book did:

Ceresney: Mr. Trump, you also claim that the book damaged your reputation, correct?

Trump: Yes.

Ceresney: And that's because you are perceived publicly, you believe, as a billionaire, correct?

Trump: That's correct.

Ceresney: And the book --

Trump: I am a billionaire. I'm not perceived. I mean, I am a billionaire. Of course, if you read Tim O'Brien's writings and what was then transposed into the The New York Times, you would certainly not think that. But I am a billionaire, many times over, on a conservative basis.

Ceresney: And you believe that because the book, at least according to you, suggested that you were not a billionaire that damaged your reputation, correct?

Trump: Yes.

Ceresney: And you think that that has hurt you in your business dealings? Is that what you've said?

Trump: Well, I've lost deals. I've lost specific deals because of it.

On calculating his own net worth:

Ceresney: Mr. Trump, have you always been completely truthful in your public statements about your net worth of properties?

Trump: I try.

Ceresney: Have you ever not been truthful?

Trump: My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with the markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings, but I try.

Ceresney: Let me just understand that a little. You said your net worth goes up and down based upon your own feelings?

Trump: Yes, even my own feelings, as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day...

Ceresney: When you publicly state a net worth number, what do you base that number on?

Trump: I would say it's my general attitude at the time that the question may be asked. And as I say, it varies.

On having a thin skin:

Trump: I'm very thick-skinned if they tell the truth. In other words, I've had many bad articles over the years, and if they're accurately bad -- I mean, some things are bad, some things are good -- I can really handle it well ... Where I do become thin-skinned is when somebody writes bad things that are untrue."

On his valuations of his properties:

Ceresney: Have you ever done an analysis to determine whether the amount that you have contributed in cash to these golf courses is more or less than the amount that you have made from these golf courses?

Trump: It will be. They will all be very good investments in the future. This is ... this is a business that you start off slow, and then you get more and more members, and all of a sudden it becomes extremely profitable.

Ceresney: Mr. Trump, I asked you have you ever done an analysis?

Trump: No, I have never done an analysis.

Ceresney: Have you ever done a projection as to how much you anticipate you will profit on these courses over time in light of the contributions that you're making in cash?

Trump: Yes, I've done mental projections.

Ceresney: Mental projections?

Trump: Yes.

Ceresney: These are projections that you've done in your head?

Trump: Yes. To top of page

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