In June, something odd happened regarding Donald Trump and 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told the press how Trump generously offered an open-ended amount of money to the relief fund established by Christie’s wife. The Washington Post quickly revealed how Christie “misspoke,” and there was no record of Trump donating to the fund. Now, a related story comes from the Daily Beast, which reports that Trump required his staff to work through the turmoil of the so-called Frankenstorm that killed 53 people. (And naturally, he tweeted a bunch of junk about President Obama and made more unsubstantiated charitable claims too.)
The Beast reveals that Trump privately told all mid-level Apprentice staffers to report to Trump Tower because the show must go on, despite a state of emergency where much of the city was shut down. Staffers were told to report on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 — the day after the storm struck New York. During the chaos, the Trump family was safely ensconced in apartments within the building, whereas staffers had to choose between risking their own well being or their jobs:
“We all had to come in right after Sandy,” a former staffer said. “We were in his building, and we fought with [a] manager, who said, ‘It’s not from me, it’s from [Donald Trump] himself’ … Ivanka [Trump] did very nicely [come down] and thank us for coming in,” the ex-staffer said. “She really was very nice but we were all [thinking], ‘Well, it was easy for you Trumps to simply come downstairs, why are we here?'”
The staffer, who spoke to the Beast on condition of anonymity, also referred to Trump as running a “dictatorship” on the Apprentice set. And there’s more:
“We all worked the day after,” another former employee told The Daily Beast. “The whole city was shut down. It was really irresponsible and selfish … Like, no one was under the illusion that we were making fine art here, that it had to be pushed that hard. It was crazy. Business in the city had basically shut down.”
“We had to work straight through it,” [a different] staffer said. “The city was shut down, no traffic lights, etc. I would bike from bk [Brooklyn] to [Trump] Tower,” he said of his first days back at work during the storm’s aftermath.