He’s volatile, savvy and, some say, scary. But who is the real Donald Trump? In a series of interviews with dozens of friends, foes, and the Republican presidential candidate himself, a PEOPLE special report examines the truth about the man behind the bluster.
Forget the gym. Donald Trump says he has a much better way to stay in shape on the campaign trail – while also connecting with voters.
When asked whether he works out to keep up his stamina on the campaign trail, the Republican frontrunner answers with characteristic frankness.
“Don’t have to,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “When you’re making speeches for 25,000 people and shouting and screaming and having fun with everybody and making America great again, you get a lot of exercise.”
The 69-year-old real estate mogul, who would replace Ronald Reagan as the oldest man to become president if he’s sworn in next January at 70, says he thrives on just four hours of sleep a night.
However, the candidate knows he is not impervious to illness, which is why he’s an admitted germaphobe and only grudgingly shakes hands with constituents.
“Yes. And I’m right, because you do catch problems from shaking hands. But you have no choice if you are running for office or a politician,” he explains.
Despite the inconveniences associated with campaigning, Trump undoubtedly gathers strength on the belief that he is genetically special, according to Michael D’Antonio, who logged eight hours with the candidate for his 2015 Trump biography, Never Enough.
“Donald told me he believes far more in natural ability, genetic ability, than in anything someone can learn,” D’Antonio says.
It’s a theory seemingly bolstered by Trump’s father Fred, also a builder, who told journalist Harry Hunt III that he instilled in Donald as a child the notion that the boy was a king, D’Antonio explains.
That idea has seemingly carried over into the next generation of Trumps, with Donald Jr. explaining his “racehorse theory” to D’Antonio in his interview for Never Enough.
“I’d like to believe genetically I’m predisposed to better-than-average,” Donald Jr. said, per D’Antonio.