Trump calls publishing houses ‘sleezebags’ after reports say he can’t land a book deal

Former president insists he is working on a ‘much more important project’

Louise Hall
Tuesday 15 June 2021 10:17 EDT
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Former president Donald Trump has lashed out at the publishing industry, calling them “sleezebags” following ongoing reports that he can’t secure a book deal following his controversial time in office.

Speculation surrounding the former president’s ability to obtain a lucrative book deal with a renowned publisher has long been debated, due to Mr Trump’s controversial nature.

Politico reports that following his continued pushing of misinformation and his perceived role in the 6 January insurrection on the US Capitol, Mr Trump is apparently an even more unappealing investment to publishers.

Reports from Maggie Haberman at The New York Times have said that Mr Trump is becoming incredibly frustrated by the fact that those around him, including his former vice president Mike Pence, have secured deals.

On 11 June, Mr Trump responded to the swirling rumours, saying that he had “turned down two book deals from the most of unlikely of publishers” and was fact is working on a “much more important project”.

It’s highly unusual for a former president to battle to score a major book deal following their time in the White House.

Former president Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, agreed to a reported $65 million deal with Crown in 2017, the Associated Press previously reported.

But several publishers also told the news agency that they did not believe Mr Trump will have the same global appeal as Mr Obama. Publishers also reportedly worry that Mr Trump would be a “fact-checking nightmare”.

However, Mr Trump insisted to Politico that “two of the biggest and most prestigious publishing houses have made very substantial offers which I have rejected”.

He said in the statement to the outlet: “That doesn’t mean I won’t accept them sometime in the future, as I have started writing the book.”

Top publishers and editors at the “Big Five” publishing houses purportedly told the outlet that they had not heard about such potential book offers.

Most of the sources told the outlet that they said they would not be willing to work with Mr Trump project when he does decide to launch a bid for a book.

In his statement to Politico, Mr Trump said: “If my book will be the biggest of them all, and with 39 books written or being written about me, does anybody really believe that they are above making a lot of money?”

He added: “Some of the biggest sleezebags [sic] on earth run these companies. No morals, no nothing, just the bottom line.”

The former president claimed that the publishers “sure wouldn’t admit it before the fact. But after the fact, they will stand by and say, ‘Let’s go.’”

Before he became president Mr Trump wrote over a dozen books including his wildly popular: The Art of the Deal, written alongside ghost author Tony Schwartz.

However, many industry professionals still believe that the publisher’s signing with Mr Trump could run the risk of facing widespread backlash from both the president’s critics, the public and the industry.

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