'This is cheap s---! Who told you to buy this?': Trump went apoplectic against a hotel executive for installing cheap marble that he chose himself

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  • Donald Trump's temperament in the 1980s was an early indication of his propensity to explode during the presidency, according to a new book.
  • During a hotel inspection, Trump tried sliding a door to an armoire and it became stuck. Trump tried to shake it and rapidly got so frustrated he pulled it off the hinges and threw it on the ground.
  • "This is cheap s---! Who told you to buy this?" Trump reportedly said. It was Trump who selected the cheapest variety of the decor.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Donald Trump showed a propensity to explode at subordinates as a real estate executive even when it was he who was to blame, according to a new book by two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters from the Washington Post.

As a real estate mogul in the 1980s, Trump purchased The Plaza hotel adjacent to Central Park in New York for $390 million. Seven years after the purchase, Trump would sell the hotel to investors at an $83 million loss.

While the aging hotel was under the Trump Organization's ownership, Trump would personally inspect its renovations, Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig write in their book, "A Very Stable Genius."

On one occasion, Trump inspected the fake furniture used for guestrooms. During the inspection, he attempted to slide a door to an armoire back when it became stuck on the rail, Barbara Res, a former vice president of the Trump Organization, recalled in the book. A frustrated Trump, who tried to shake the unmoving door, pulled it off the hinges and threw it on the ground.

Trump also inspected a bathroom, where he threw a fit at Res for choosing green Chinese marble for its decor, rather than a more expensive Italian verde.

"You're no f------ good!," Trump said, according to Res' recollection. "You're making me look bad! This is cheap s---! Who told you to buy this?"

But, according to Res, Trump had chosen the offending marble. Res said she had offered Trump three samples of green marble at different prices. It was Trump who selected the cheapest variety.

"I just stood there and said, 'Donald, you approved it,'" Res claimed she said at the time. "I thought he might explode. He was that angry."

Trump's outburst back then bears some similarities to an 2017 episode, also reported in the book, when President Trump told cabinet officials and generals "you're a bunch of dopes and babies" to stunned silence at a Pentagon meeting.

'I'd like to have a proper book done'

Trump has long touted his expertise in the real estate industry, including an extensive knowledge of marble.

"The cheap 12 inch sq. marble tiles behind speaker at UN always bothered me," Trump tweeted in 2012, referring to the United Nations building in New York. "I will replace with beautiful large marble slabs if they ask me."

Trump would later deliver his infamously wide-ranging speech at the UN building during the 72nd General Assembly on September 19, 2017. Standing behind Trump and his speaking podium was a wall of green-colored marbling.

Donald Trump United Nations address speech

The president recently railed against the the new book's many unflattering accounts, which is sourced from hundreds of hours of interviews from over 200 sources.

"Another Fake Book by two third rate Washington Post reporters, has already proven to be inaccurately reported, to their great embarrassment, all for the purpose of demeaning and belittling a President who is getting great things done for our Country," Trump said in a tweet on Saturday.

Reporters Rucker and Leonnig previously asked Trump for an interview on some of the claims made in the book. Trump initially told Rucker over the phone that he was interested in an interview: "Come in. You'll do a fair one," Trump said, according to the book.

"I'll do it,' Trump added to Rucker. "I'd like to have a proper book done. You're a serious person. So that's good."

Trump would later decline an interview with the two reporters.

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