Donald Trump did not prepare for a White House transition—or draft any kind of Election-Night speech—because the hyper-superstitious businessman was too afraid of “bad juju,” two of his former top aides reveal in a new book.
“Donald Trump is one of the most superstitious men that most people have ever met,” write former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and his former deputy, David Bossie, in Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.
So, come Nov. 8, 2016, Trump was unprepared to take over the presidency—on purpose, the authors maintain.
“During the campaign, for fear of bad juju, we were never allowed to talk about what a Trump White House would look like, never mind plan for one,” their book reveals.
(Trump fired Lewandowski from his position of campaign manager in June 2016 but the former adviser remains publicly loyal to the president.)
From throwing “salt over his shoulder” before a meal and avoiding people with “low energy” because they “carry bad luck,” to calling Fox and Friends each Monday during the primaries “because he didn’t want to change a winning routine,” Trump’s superstitions were guiding forces during his campaign, the book reveals.
“We were never allowed to celebrate before a win was certain, and we always had to take our losses with grace. Anything else and you’d invite in some bad juju,” they write. “It’s the reason that come election night we didn’t have a victory speech — or a concession speech — written ahead of time.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, an anonymous source explained that the then-president-elect also didn’t plan a large election-win celebration because he is “superstitious” and didn’t want to jinx things.
While the authors champion Trump’s success and argue that it’s best to “let Trump be Trump,” they also reveal provoking insight into a whirlwind campaign. According to the book, the campaign was run by a staff with little political experience and led by a candidate prone to screaming fits and fueled by junk food.
WATCH: How Donald Trump Views Loyalty
Lewandowski and Bossie argue that Trump’s refusal to plan for a transition to the White House was a good thing, as it didn’t distract Trump from the campaign. It also meant, they disclose, that Trump “wasn’t even aware that he had a full-time, functioning transition team” that had been organized by Chris Christie. Steve Bannon referenced the book The Romney Readiness Project so that the campaign could have “a blueprint on how to organize itself.”
Once the White House staff was established, Trump was furious when he discovered someone from the inside was leaking information to the press. According to the book (which barely touches on the Russia scandal and investigation led by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller), Trump treasures loyalty the most. He discussed the betrayal with Lewandowski.
“I’m doing a great job,” Trump allegedly told Lewandowski, “but my staff sucks.”