Donald Trump’s Trick Spokesperson Play

I didn't get to do a lot of original reporting in 1985 as a clerk on United Press International's sports desk in New York. My job was to move copy and box scores to our client newspapers as fast as possible, and so every night I took dictation from sportswriters around the country 2013 at baseball stadiums or at ringside, at the racetrack or inside the arena.


Thirty years later, it seems likely I also took a bit of dictation from a man with a shot to be the next president of the United States.


Okay, let's back up.


You might well have heard in the last couple of days of Donald Trump's apparent habit of acting as his own spokesman. A variety of news accounts have recalled Trump using the aliases John Barron or John Miller while posing as a fictitious spokesman for his organizations. Trump has denied doing so in at least one of the cited instances. Then again, it appears he also admitted to the ruse in a sworn deposition years ago. Over the weekend, it seemed hard for either Trump's supporters or his critics to know exactly what to make of it all. The only consensus seems to be that, if true, it was more weird than anything else.


Now, let's back up a bit farther. In 1985, Trump was the owner of the New Jersey Generals, a team in the fledgling United States Football League. The teams played in the spring and summer, and the league was meant to be a rival to the National Football League. Trump, unsurprisingly perhaps, became known for high-profile player signings, one of his most expensive being the acquisition of Doug Flutie, the Boston College quarterback who had won the Heisman Trophy. Soon enough 2013 again perhaps not surprisingly 2013 Trump wanted to re-visit the Flutie deal. He wanted the owners of the other teams in the USFL to chip in to cover the costs of his quarterback.


That, then, is how I came to write this dispatch on April 1, 1985.


NEW YORK 2013 New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump has asked the other USFL owners to provide 2018partial reimbursement' for quarterback Doug Flutie's multi-million dollar contract, a spokesman for Trump said Monday.


John Barron, a vice president of the Trump Organization, said the New Jersey owner wanted the other owners to honor an agreement reached earlier this year before Trump signed Flutie to a 5-year contract worth between $5 and $8 million.


"When a guy goes out and spends more money than a player is worth, he expects to get partial reimbursement from the other owners," Barron said of Trump's signing of Flutie.


The story went on to quote Barron saying that the other owners had agreed to assist Trump before Flutie was signed, and that Trump was merely calling in the chit. The story quoted Barron acknowledging that the other owners might not pony up, but that it was important for Trump to call them out because he wanted "the record to reflect" the truth behind the terms of the Flutie deal.


I can't remember when I first came to believe Barron was in fact Trump. It's not inconceivable that Trump told me himself. I know I had thought at the time that I'd rarely dealt with such a frank and forthcoming spokesman. And I know I have told the story to family and friends for years. David Tucker, who was sports editor at UPI in 1985, told me this week that some reporters wondered if Barron was actually Trump himself. But he, like me, remains as stumped today as we were years ago about why Trump might have engaged in his charade.


The Trump news cycle has quickly rolled on, the flap just another seemingly minor hiccup in a run of remarkable political success for the presumptive Republican nominee.


For me, the episode, more than anything else, has felt like a bad acid flashback. Strange days indeed. That said, it's been kind of fascinating re-familiarizing myself with Trump's role in the USFL. Esquire in January published a kind of oral history of the USFL highlighting Trump's role. But I think this chapter in Trump's much-examined life could use some more attention.


I am not a scholar of the USFL, but some refresher reading suggests Trump was his trademark self from the beginning to the end of the ill-fated league.


The launch of the league in the early 1980s seemed well timed, with the NFL facing labor trouble. The idea was to play during the NFL's off-season. There was some initial success 2013 12 teams, television deals with ABC and ESPN, the signing of stars such as Herschel Walker and Flutie and Reggie White and Jim Kelly. But it appears to have been a combustible upstart league, as well. There was expansion, but also mergers and strategic disagreements, worries about over-spending and shifting ownership.


Trump appears to have been something of a lightning rod.


Adam Rank, writing on the NFL Network's website several years ago, put it this way:


"It should have worked," he said of the USFL. "Hell, it would have worked were it not for Donald Trump."


Trump was the original owner of the Generals, but wound up flipping the team not unlike a real estate holding 2013 selling it after the league's first year only to then buy it back a short time later. His pursuit of high-priced stars annoyed and unnerved some of his fellow owners. My quick scan of history does not reveal whether the other owners ever helped out Trump with his obligations to Flutie. Whether that holds any meaning for Trump's ability to re-negotiate trade or arms deals as president is beyond me. In the end, though, it appears that the eventual death of the league has been linked by many to Trump's desire to directly challenge the NFL, a gambit that involved playing a fall schedule and that ended in litigation and debts in the tens of millions of dollars.


Arash Markazi, a senior writer at ESPN, published a post in July 2015 titled, "5 Things to Know About Donald Trump's Foray Into Doomed USFL." One was that the Generals under Trump were a pretty good team. Another, however, was that "Trump is widely blamed for the demise of the USFL."


The USFL sued the NFL, asserting it was an illegal monopoly. A jury, it seems, kind of agreed. But when it came to awarding damages, it gave the USFL $1. It seems the jury thought the USFL had behaved badly, as well, in part by trying force a merger with the NFL, a tactic apparently supported by Trump.


In the Esquire story, Charlie Steiner, the former play-by-play announcer for Trump's Generals, offered his own emphatic summation:


"You can cut and paste the USFL and the GOP and it's the same damn story. It's all about him and the brand and moving on to the next thing if it doesn't work out."


I sent two emails to Hope Hicks, Trump's spokeswoman, seeking comment on my dealings back in 1985 and Trump's role in the short life of the USFL. I have yet to receive a response.


I did find a New York Daily News item quoting Trump as saying he'd been the victim of "a lot of false press on the USFL."


That may have to suffice for now. I do not, after all, have an email address for John Barron.


ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.
























SBI getting ready to acquire 5 associates banks and Mahila Bank
State Bank of India, the country's largest state-run lender on Tuesday said its board has discussed possibilities of acquiring its five associate banks, including assets and liabilities as well as the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB), which was set up as first bank for women. 
"This discussion is purely exploratory at this stage and not certain. A proposal seeking an in-principle approval to start negotiations with associate banks will be submitted to the central government," SBI said in a release.
SBI's associate banks include State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.
In addition to these five banks, SBI said its board members also discussed the possibility of acquiring BMB, the country's first bank targeted to women. SBI says it would explore this acquisition once the central government gives an in-principle approval to start negotiations with BMB.



Ramesh Poapt

1 year ago

subsidiaries banks did well b4 few quarters. but since last 2 quarters,they are also going sicker.ex.SBM as at 31-3-16, haS GROSS npa OF 3600 CR VS RESERVE OF 46OO CR. GROSS/NET NPA INCREASING. sbm GOVT HOLDING IS 90%, sbbj,sbt HV APR 80% . sbi IS 1 RS. SHARES WHEREAS SUBSID.BANKS HV 10 RS F.V. IT WILL FACE CHALLENGES.

Nifty, Sensex trendless – Tuesday closing report
The major indices of the Indian stock markets put in a minor rally in Tuesday’s trading and closed less than 0.50% over Monday’s close. The trends of the major indices in Tuesday’s trading are given in the table below:
Positive global indices, along with higher crude oil prices and expectations of better quarterly results, buoyed the Indian equity markets on Tuesday. Consequently, key indices made gains during the late-afternoon trading session, as healthy buying was witnessed in stocks of oil and gas, automobile, capital goods and banking sectors. However, investors were seen cautious, given the recent negative macro-economic data and poor quarterly results from state-owned banks. Key economic indicators show rising inflation trend that has reduced the chances of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) further easing its key lending rates during the monetary policy review scheduled for June.  In addition, the risk-taking appetite of investors was subdued a day ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) releasing its minutes. The US FOMC minutes assume significance as they can give vital cues on the future course of US interest rates. On the BSE, there were 1,303 advances and 1,300 declines at the close of Tuesday’s trading.
State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) on Tuesday raised transport fuel prices, with petrol becoming costlier by 83 paise a litre and diesel by Rs.1.26, both at Delhi and inclusive of local levies, with corresponding increase in other states. Indian Oil Corporation share prices closed at Rs407.45, down 0.48% on the BSE.
US stocks posted solid gains on Monday as investors cheered over a strong rebound in oil prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 175.39 points, or 1.00%, to 17,710.71. The S&P 500 gained 20.05 points, or 0.98%, to 2,066.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index leapt 57.78 points, or 1.22%, to 4,775.46. Goldman Sachs saw US oil trading as high as $50 per barrel in the second half of 2016. On the economic front, the May 2016 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that business activity declined for New York manufacturers.
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)