It's well documented that President Trump is a bit of a size queen. He brags about the size of his crowds, calls his electoral-college victory a "landslide" (inaccurately), claims massive job creation already (inaccurately) and regularly boasts about his poll numbers and his net worth. "Yuge" is not an expression comedians picked up on by accident.
But now, Trump has run into some hard numbers that don't lie: square footage in New York City. Forbes magazine reported that the president is lying about the size of his penthouse.
According to the magazine, during the presidential campaign, Trump led reporters through his triplex "gilded aerie" in Trump Tower, claiming that his home spanned a huge chunk of the building: "I own the top three floors — the whole floor, times three!" He added that his home was the "best apartment ever built" and that it was 33,000 square feet.
"Those comments were typical Trump: boastful and inaccurate," goes the Forbes story. The reporter then broke it down, with the precision of a less caffeinated Steve Kornacki:
"Records show Trump acquiring a 6,096-square-foot triplex apartment, occupying sections of floors 66 through 68, around the time Trump Tower opened in 1983. A decade later, he expanded his penthouse, merging parts of two neighboring apartments into his home, according to the filings. The end result is 10,996 square feet of prime Manhattan real estate — a massive residence, no doubt, but much smaller than what Trump claims to own."
In real-estate journalism, that is what's known as a "massive burn."
The magazine then delivered a stake in the heart: They estimated the president's apartment is worth $64 million, "less than a third of his number."
Some have questioned what the president's fixation on size is all about. It dates back to his earliest days as a real-estate developer, when he added 10 stories to Trump Tower that don't exist and has similarly finessed the floor count of eight of his other New York City buildings. "It isn't unlike Fidel Castro's reported obsession with crowd sizes or Josef Stalin's compulsion about hiding his short stature," wrote an editor for the Washington Examiner in January. "Appearance is everything to those who lack substance."