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Timothy L. O'Brien

How Long Can Trump's Long Con Last?

Trump has exaggerated his wealth for years. In office, he's trying a similar scam.
Just the way he likes it.

Just the way he likes it.

Photographer: Jennifer S. Altman/Bloomberg

In 1982, when Donald Trump was 36 years old, he began an annual ritual of lobbying Forbes magazine to include him on its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Forbes debuted the list that year, and Trump pursued his inclusion with gusto -- lying, cajoling and repeatedly jumping on the phone to make sure that a young reporter at the magazine, Jonathan Greenberg, would accept his inflated claims about how much money he had.

Greenberg taped a few of those phone calls and he published them as part of a longer reflection in the Washington Post on Friday describing what it was like to be conned by Trump.