ABC News senior reporter James Thomas on his “circa 2008” interactions with Donald Trump – you know you’re in a land of iffiness when a critical date is described as “around” some time in the past.
I was a reporter for Seven’s Today Tonight at the time, circa 2008, and we’d heard of an enterprising young businessman in Ipswich who’d convinced Donald Trump to come to Australia on a speaking tour.
Yep, Malcolm Quinn had read one of The Donald’s books of business inspiration.
Given what we now know, who knows if Donald ever wrote a single word of it, but it was enough to convince the boy from Ipswich to take a bite at getting the Big Apple’s biggest ego, now POTUS, to come to Australia on a speaking tour.
And guess what — The Donald said yes. What a top bloke, we thought. My boss knew we’d be on a winner if we could take Malcolm to New York to meet his hero and future guest speaker.
So, Seven stumped up the cash and we set off to meet Donald — with Malcolm in the middle.
The stumped up cash was apparently $1 million Quinn obtained by mortgaging everything he owned, including the family home. Unfortunately, Quinn was unable to sell the tickets.
There was one problem Malcolm didn’t bank on. Back in 2008, Mr Trump was so unpopular/unknown, Malcolm told us he couldn’t offload the tickets for the event.
It gets worse. Malcolm, a small businessmen from Ipswich who had a wife and two adorable kids, said he had mortgaged his home to provide Donald with a $1 million advance for the Aussie tour.
This was terrible news for Malcolm as he stood to lose his house, not to mention the stress on his family.
Trump, rightly or wrongly, refused to refund the $1 million advance.
We did broadcast the story on Today Tonight … We have asked our mates at Seven to see if we can find it. Let’s hope my recollection of events is slightly more accurate than the President’s recollection of how many people attended his inauguration.
Malcolm Quinn told the ABC he’d prefer not to comment any further. We’re not sure if he ever got his money back.
How the Hell is this newsworthy when Thomas does’t even know the outcome of the story?