This article originally appeared on AlterNet.
Donald Trump loves pretty things: tall steel buildings, gold leaf ceilings and women, assuming they are what he deems attractive.
A scathing new report by the Los Angeles Times reveals brutal sworn declarations by former employees of the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., alleging the GOP candidate explicitly told managers at the club to fire less-attractive female staff members.
In a sworn declaration (which, much like a sworn affidavit, is made under penalty of perjury), former Trump National Golf Club Catering Director Hayley Strozier said she “witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that restaurant hostesses were ‘not pretty enough’ and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women.”
Strozier said Trump made these statements “almost every time” he visited, adding eventually managers just switched female staff members’ shifts around “so that the most attractive women were scheduled to work when Mr. Trump was scheduled to be at the club.”
Strozier’s declaration came as part of a 2008 complaint filed by employees of the club, accusing management of denying lead plaintiff Lucy Messerschmidt of meal breaks and vacation time. Golf course management settled most of the lawsuits in 2013, agreeing to pay $475,000 to employees who accused the company of violating break times. But as LA Times notes, a separate claim by one employee about the company’s treatment of women was settled by itself; the terms of that lawsuit remain confidential.
It’s a familiar refrain seen from Republican Party standard-bearer Donald J. Trump: blatant sexism and unabashed misogyny.
“Donald Trump always wanted good-looking women working at the club,” former restaurant manager Sue Kwiatkowski wrote in a 2009 court filing. “I know this because one time he took me aside and said, ‘I want you to get some good-looking hostesses here. People like to see good-looking people when they come in.’”
Then there was Gail Doner, a 60-year-old food server who worked at Trump National. In a declaration, Doner wrote, “The hostesses that were the youngest and the prettiest always got the best shifts.”
Doner said despite being at the top of her game while working for Trump National, managers cut back on her shifts, effectively firing her. “It did not appear to me that this reduction in shifts was happening to any of the younger, more attractive female food servers,” Doner said.
“All are impressed with how nicely I have treated women,” Trump wrote on Twitter in May, in a post attacking The New York Times for an article it ran on women who’ve felt mistreated by him. And despite what he may infer from his spaceship atop Trump Tower, the GOP candidate’s treatment of women is really not impressive at all.
Wednesday, Mother Jones unearthed pretty telling evidence of how Trump the businessman made decisions about who to hire. The year was 2007, and Trump was giving a speech at the Learning Annex, when a woman asked how she can apply to be a flight attendant for Trump.
He pulled the woman onstage, checked out her chest, and proudly exclaimed, “you’re hired.”
Then, he launched into this doozy of an anecdote:
“You know, I had a case that was very interesting. A beautiful girl who was 17 or 18 applied to be a waitress. So beautiful. She’s like a world-class beauty — like the young lady who just asked a question about the actress. She’s so beautiful. And my people came and she said, ‘Mr. Trump, she has no experience.’ So I interviewed her anyway because she was so pretty. And I said, ‘Let me ask you, do you have any experience?’ She goes, ‘No, sir.’ I say, ‘When can you start?’”
Trump later compared his unique attraction to young, attractive females to alcoholism, saying if the woman worked on his plane, “that’s like a death wish for me, right?”
“That’s like an alcoholic — I have a few friends, they’re wonderful people, they’re alcoholics. You put Scotch in front of them, it’s like — this would be my form of alcoholism.”
Trump’s vocal appreciation for attractive women wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, were it not for his equally vocal disdain for anyone who falls out of his definition of “attractive woman.” Take, for instance, Trump’s treatment of Alicia Machado, who accused Trump of making disparaging comments about her weight after she claimed the title of Miss Universe in 1996, and even set up a press event where cameras recorded Machado working out.
In any other election year, the GOP candidate probably could have chalked his poor treatment of Machado up to age and explained how far he’s come since his days as a young asshole. But this is not any other election year, and instead of admitting his mistake, Trump visited the (very friendly) cast of “Fox and Friends” to complain that Machado had, in fact, “gained a massive amount of weight” after winning the crown.
But none of this should be surprising. This is the same guy who launched into a minutes-long tirade during the first presidential debate about why he was justified in calling Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig.” Who incredulously asked a Rolling Stone reporter if he could imagine the face of former rival Carly Fiorina as “the face of our next president.” Who’s publicly stated Clinton doesn’t have “a presidential look.”
This is a man obsessed with appearances, who lacks even a modicum of empathy when it comes to other people and who’s frighteningly close to becoming the leader of our country.