A look inside Donald Trump’s deposition: Defiance, deflection and the ‘hottest brand in the world’

In newly public testimony, Donald Trump boasts about building a multibillion-dollar brand and saving the lives of millions as the President.

Perry Mason attempted to discredit the witnesses during his trip to New York, accusing Letitia James, the general attorney, of filing a fraudulent case against him. He sparred with her, deeming the entire case “crazy.”

In April, as part of James’ lawsuit, Trump gave sworn testimony for seven hours, accusing his company of defrauding insurers and banks by inflating the value of his assets and boosting his net worth by over $2 billion in some years.

On Wednesday, the attorneys representing Trump provided a documented account of his statement in a set of legal papers, in anticipation of a possible trial in October.

These are the main attractions:

Trump criticized James’ lawsuit as a “horrible thing,” informing her and her team “you do not have a valid argument.”

He insisted that the banks she claims were deceived with inflated values suffered no damage and received payment in his transactions, without any complaints up until now.

Trump inquired, “Are you aware that the banks have accumulated a substantial amount of wealth?” “And yet, you’re filing a lawsuit on behalf of banks, I presume. It’s absurd. The entire case is ludicrous.” Trump questioned, “Are you aware that I don’t think I ever received a default notice, and even throughout the COVID pandemic, all the banks were compensated.”

Trump informed James, “Financial institutions ‘desire to engage in transactions with me due to my wealth.’ However, you know what, they are terrified to engage in transactions because of you.”

Trump voiced his discontent with the authorities in New York, asserting that they overly prioritize probing him instead of tackling the problem of street violence.

He expressed his intention to impose severe challenges on his recently incarcerated former financial manager, Allen Weisselberg, for evading taxes on benefits provided by the company.

“Now I have to come and explain myself to you,” Trump complained.


Trump said he never felt that people who did business with him were given enough warning, and he seriously believed that his financial statements would be taken very seriously.

“Guesstimates,” he observed, were “a relatively decent compilation of characteristics” instead of an accurate depiction of their worth. Trump characterized the statements as Certain figures.

Trump asserted that the statements were primarily for his personal use, although he admitted that financial establishments occasionally requested them.

Nonetheless, he continued to assert that the precision of the data lacked any legal importance, as it was accompanied by a disclaimer.

Trump testified, “We should not give any credence to what you’re supposed to say. Go out and do your own work. I don’t believe the statement, there is a clause in there that says.”


Trump calculated that his “brand” alone is valued at “perhaps $10 billion.”

He called it “the most valuable asset I have” and attributed his political success to the ubiquity of his name and persona.

“I became president because of the brand, OK,” Trump said. “I became president. I think it’s the hottest brand in the world.”.


Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr., His oldest son, supervised the Trump Organization following Trump’s election.

Trump claimed that he did not want the appearance of a conflict of interest and wanted to be seen as a legitimate “president”, even though it was required of him.

From launching a nuclear attack, preventing North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, like solving the world’s problems, he said, Trump was busy.

“If you desire to uncover the veracity, I believe there is a possibility of a nuclear conflict at present. And had I not been elected, I believe there would be a potential for a nuclear war. In the event that I had not addressed the North Korea situation, I believe a nuclear catastrophe would have been imminent,” Trump declared under oath. “Taking into account the preservation of countless lives, I regarded this as the utmost crucial responsibility worldwide.”


In August 2022, when James summoned him for questioning, Trump’s testimony took a complete 180-degree turn from his usual talkative nature, as there were no criminal cases filed against him or any lawsuits before.

Trump said that he was politically motivated because prosecutors used criminal charges as a basis for his answers. He refused to answer more than 400 questions and invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination during his first deposition.

In an attempt to waste time, as proposed by Kevin Wallace, James’ assistant, the person questioning him responded in great detail to even the simplest inquiries and altered his stance by April, according to Trump.

Christopher Kise, one of Trump’s attorneys, stated, “If we are going to be here until midnight, Chris, make sure you answer every client’s question with an eight-minute speech.”

Trump, however, appeared to be conscious that there was a potential danger in continuing to talk excessively.

“Perry Mason. Perry Mason.” That’s okay. It’s the way it is. I’m hoping that you’ll let me go on, making a mistake and all. You mentioned Trump’s golf courses, and I’m going to expound on one of the great answers in the middle of his protracted explanation.

Limited Visibility

The attorney general’s office in Manhattan testified that Trump labeled the skyscraper “The Trump Building,” which is located 40 street letters away from Wall Street.

When asked about the financial state of the building, Trump replied, “It’s in good shape. It’s right here. Would you like to take a look at it?”

“I believe we are not permitted to open the windows,” Wallace stated.

“Pull back the curtain,” Trump recommended.

“No,” Wallace replied.

“Unveil the curtain, proceed,” Trump remarked. “It’s right here. I merely glanced out the window.”

“Unable to open it?” Clifford Robert, the lawyer of Trump, inquired, after a pause.

“I would not,” Wallace said.


With each and every description of his properties, Trump showcased his talent for using extravagant language, repeatedly using the words “beautiful” and “incredible” a total of 15 times.

Trump referred to his Turnberry, Scotland, golf course as “one of the most emblematic destinations globally,” and described the renovated villas at his Doral golf resort near Miami as “the most stunning rooms you have ever laid eyes on.”

Trump described his 213-acre Seven Springs estate, situated north of New York City, as “the most splendid dwelling in New York State.”

“Incredible.” Does he play golf in Scotland, specifically Aberdeen? “An astonishing facility.” Does he own an amazing property in Jupiter, Florida? “An extraordinary property.” Is it located just outside Los Angeles? “A phenomenal property that faces the ocean … An unbelievable property … An incredible property.”

“But in the event that I were to ever offer some of these items for purchase — if I were to ever trade them — I would obtain figures that were astonishing,” Trump declared under oath. “I have no desire to part with any of them.”

He stated that he could obtain $1.5 billion for his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida and possibly $2.5 billion for Doral.

Trump suggested that the Turnberry course, a previous venue for the British Open, could potentially receive a substantial amount of money from the Saudi Arabia-supported LIV golf league.

There would be people who own Doral, Wall Street, Trump Tower, or Mar-a-Lago, and would do anything there. Similarly, there are people who own Turnberry and would do anything there.