Donald Trump used to call me his psychologist.
The reason, he’d say, is that I sweet-talked him out of suing so often. I had to: I was a top editor at the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper he read fairly closely, and then executive editor of The Post, a paper he took an interest in as he started making investments in Virginia and Washington and then got more active in politics.
There were certain topics that Trump wanted off-limits, and legal threats were how he tried to keep them that way.
His wealth, for example. Reporters who suggested that he wasn’t a billionaire risked getting a threatening call. Trump unsuccessfully sued journalistTimothy O’Brien, author of the book “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald,” for $5 billion after O’Brien reported estimates that Trump at the time was worth between $150 million and $250 million, not the $5 billion to $6 billion Trump liked to claim. (No points for observing that Trump may have hoped to get there by winning the lawsuit, if only O’Brien had had the money.)