Trump has always been ‘totally focused’ on his ‘self-interest,’ biographer says

In 1987, then-businessman Donald Trump told ABC News he had “zero political aspiration.” Thirty years later, he is president.

Trump’s views on running for office clearly changed. But 128 days into his presidency and just after his first foreign trip in office, three people who have covered Trump closely say not much else about him has changed.

ABC News’ Martha Raddatz sat down with two Trump biographers, Gwenda Blair and Tim O’Brien, and ABC News National Correspondent Tom Llamas, who covered Trump throughout the campaign. Blair is the author of “The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President.” O’Brien is both the executive editor of Bloomberg View and the author of “Trump Nation: The Art of Being the Donald.”

Blair began researching Trump in the late 1980s. Asked by Raddatz how Trump has changed since then, she said, “Not a bit.”

“He is exactly the same guy. He was totally focused on what was in his self-interest then. He is totally focused on it now,” Blair said in the interview that aired Sunday on “This Week.”

“He’s 70 years old,” added Llamas, “and for the better part of his adult life, he’s never had a boss. He’s always been the boss, so he’s never had to listen to anybody… And right now, I don’t care how great a tactician, how brilliant a political scientist walks into the Oval Office, whatever they tell Donald Trump, he’s going to do what he wants.”

“He is his best spokesperson,” Llamas continued. “That’s maybe the only part of his presidency so far that has hurt him is that he’s had messengers come out, whether it be Sean Spicer or Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The best salesman for Donald Trump is Donald Trump.”

O’Brien disagreed slightly with Llamas. “I would depart from Tom on the notion of that — that if they let Trump be Trump, that’s the best thing to do because he’s a good spokesman for himself. I think he’s a good source of energy on the campaign trail. That’s why he…

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