The Washington Post

Dear Donald: Trump’s next book shares nearly 150 private letters


Five months after leaving office, former president Donald Trump received a birthday greeting from a powerful friend in Hungary.

“In a world where the notion of homeland is fading, where the nation is pushed aside by ideologies there the survival of nations depends on strong, decisive leaders of great stature,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wrote. “I am convinced you became President of the United States at a critical time when your country was in greatest need.”

Orban later added, “I sincerely hope that we will have the opportunit­y to work together for our common goals in the future as well.”

The effusive missive proved prescient, as Trump went on to endorse, as a private citizen, Orban’s 2022 reelection and then met with the Hungarian leader at the Trump National Golf Club. And it might have been lost to history if not for Trump’s latest photo book project, “Letters to Trump,” to be released April 25. The book reproduces nearly 150 letters he has received or sent in his career as a businessma­n, celebrity and politician.

Those letters include notes from pop star Michael Jackson, former president Richard M. Nixon and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who joked in 2000 about the two celebritie­s running for office as a “team.” The book also contains correspond­ence from during and after Trump’s time in the White House, featuring such world leaders as French President Emmanuel Macron, former British prime minister Boris Johnson and former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, as well as letters from Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea. (Axios first reported the book’s release, along with a photo of the note from Winfrey.)

In a phone interview Thursday about the book, Trump said he continued to make a point of fostering good relationsh­ips with world leaders. He noted that Orban had presented him with an award when they met last year.

“I have kept relationsh­ips with quite a few of them. And, you know, I think that bodes well for the campaign,” Trump said. “The tougher they were, the better I got along, and maybe in some ways that’s a good thing because the tougher ones were the heads of the more powerful countries.”

The book includes the letter that former president Barack Obama left in the White House for Trump, which has been published previously, but does not include the note that Trump wrote for President Biden. Trump said releasing that piece of correspond­ence was not within his purview.

“I did write him a letter. It was a very nice letter,” Trump said. “I was thinking about doing it. I thought really that this was something that was up to him to do. It was a private letter.”

“What do presidents, royals, celebritie­s and business titans have in common? They all love Donald Trump,” said Sergio Gor, president of Winning Team Publishing. “Long before entering politics, Donald Trump lived an extraordin­ary life. No book highlights his iconic relationsh­ips like ‘Letters to Trump,’ and we are thrilled to be able to share it with our readers.”

Winning Team Publishing, also the publisher of Trump’s first post-presidency photo book, “Our Journey Together,” was founded in 2021 by Donald Trump Jr. and Gor, a former Trump campaign aide. Aside from the former president, the imprint’s current roster of authors includes Trump Jr., conservati­ve activist Charlie Kirk, former Arizona gubernator­ial candidate Kari Lake and Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro.

“Our Journey Together” collected images captured by White House staff photograph­ers during Trump’s presidency, with captions written by him. The Post’s book critic Ron Charles noted in his review that “only 20 of the images include captions written with the famous Sharpie; most are just typed out in a fontastic italic meant to convey Trump’s bold persona.” The former president received a multimilli­on-dollar advance for the book. Sales reached $20 million within months of its publicatio­n, and Gor said in February 2022 that the initial print run of 200,000 had sold out.

That title currently retails for $74.99 ($290 for a copy signed by Trump; $199 for a copy signed by Don Jr.). “Letters to Trump” is priced at $99 ($399 for an edition signed by Trump). No personaliz­ed or special messages are possible, notes the publisher’s site, Winningpub­, and all sales are final.

 ?? JABIN Botsford/the WASHINGTON Post ?? Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservati­ve Political Action Conference in Fort Washington, Md., on March 4.
JABIN Botsford/the WASHINGTON Post Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservati­ve Political Action Conference in Fort Washington, Md., on March 4.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States