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"My brother and I are probably the only sons of billionaires who can operate a D-10 Caterpillar." "I did less-than-glamorous internships in sweltering New York — the South of France wasn't an option," says Ivanka in her immaculate office next door to Don Jr.
Together with Eric, the third of Trump's kids by his first wife, Ivana Trump (he has two younger children by subsequent wives), his three grown offspring handle his vast portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts.
Trump tells the story of being dragged by the nose to join Fred on his rounds collecting rents.
"We'd go on jobs where you needed tough guys to knock on doors," he says.
It is hard to overstate the effect of the building on your sense of dimension and place.
You walk into a lobby that is half-Vegas, half-Vatican, a vaulting altar of brass and obsidian that soars halfway to heaven, where they serve dark-roast.
" (Fact-check: It isn't bigger than Air Force One, and it was featured on the Smithsonian Channel.
But in this, as in much of what Trump says, it's more about the broad strokes than the details.) week or so earlier, I'd been summoned to Trump's office at his glitter-bomb cathedral, Trump Tower.
No less telling, none of them are train wrecks like so many children of billionaires."You'd see 'em ring the bell and stand way over here. ' and he'd say, ' ' Cause these motherfuckers ! '"Trump has raised his own kids in comparable fashion, disabusing them of any notions of unearned grandeur."I was a dock attendant for a couple of summers, then went into landscaping," says Don Jr., a company vice president running international projects, with an office directly below his father's.Him, two hours at the beach with us on Sundays, and he was back to work."Fred was among the first of the great wartime developers to figure out the import of Federal Housing Authority programs, vast new pots of government loans to build housing for the working- and middle-class.Trump doesn't volunteer that much of the family fortune derived from taxpayer funds, or that his father was a master manipulator of the Democratic machine in Brooklyn.