(CNN)Decades ago, a businessman and a state assemblyman had a public and personal feud over New York real estate. It’s 2019, and they’re still fighting, but now, one is President of the United States and the other is chairman of the House committee that has the power to unravel his presidency.
With Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections, Nadler has again become a thorn in Trump’s side, newly empowered as one of the key leaders of Democratic oversight efforts, or what Trump and his administration frequently deem
Last week, Nadler authorized a subpoena
to obtain the full, unredacted report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election from special counsel Robert Mueller, teeing up a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over the nearly 400-page report.
And last month, Nadler’s committee announced a sweeping investigation
into Trump’s campaign, businesses, transition and administration, a probe that could lay the groundwork for Democrats if they choose to pursue impeachment proceedings against the President.
The investigation predictably and swiftly drew the ire of the White House and the President himself, who criticized Nadler both publicly and privately.
During a trade meeting with House Republicans last month, according to The Washington Post, Trump referred to the New York congressman as “Fat Jerry,” a Trump-coined nickname that was first reported
in New York Magazine in August 1995.
Trump told the New York Daily News in 1995
that he called Nadler fat to “inspire” him.
“I feel that whatever can inspire him to go out and lose that tremendous amount of weight should be done. To be honest with you, he’s a walking time bomb and if I can convince him to put himself, not in great shape, but in reasonable shape, I’m doing a great service to him and his family,” Trump said at the time.
Nadler lost a significant amount of weight following weight-loss surgery
in 2002 and Trump himself is clinically obese, per his most recent physical
Trump spoke at length at the March meeting about Nadler’s weight, which was embarrassing to several of his Republican House colleagues, per the Post’s reporting.
But, as Trump reportedly told the lawmakers, “I’ve been battling Nadler for years.”
The New Yorkers, now in their 70s, first encountered each other early in Trump’s real estate career when Nadler was a state assemblyman. Trump faced opposition from New York lawmakers, including then-Mayor Ed Koch, when he wanted to develop property he purchased in 1985 on the West Side of Manhattan that required the movement of a highway.
Even after he became a congressman in 1992, Nadler was a key opponent of the project, and the years-long dispute was well-documented in local publications at the time as it faced numerous zoning and tax obstacles. The New York Times characterized Nadler as “among the project’s strongest foes
” and at one point, he successfully cut off
federal funds that would have allowed the development to proceed.
The highway never moved, but in a twist of irony, Nadler ultimately voted for a transportation bill in 1998 that, at the last minute, allocated $6 million in funding to Trump’s project. After the vote, Nadler told The Observer
he was “absolutely livid,” criticizing Trump’s motives.
“The real reason that he wants to move the highway is not out of the wonderfulness of his heart, but so the sightlines for some of the apartments will be clear,” Nadler told The Observer. “He will then be able to sell them for more money, and that will help with his financing.”
Trump did build residential buildings, later selling the property, but as The Washington Post notes, “After Trump’s election, residents of the apartment complex voted to have his name removed from the property, a repudiation of the man who fought for its very existence.”
Trump rehashed the history Tuesday on Twitter.
“Congressman Jerry Nadler fought me for years on a very large development I built on the West Side of Manhattan. He wanted a Rail Yard built underneath the development or even better, to stop the job. He didn’t get either & the development became VERY successful,” Trump wrote
: “Nevertheless, I got along very well with Jerry during the zoning and building process. Then I changed course (slightly), became President, and now I am dealing with Congressman Nadler again. Some things never end, but hopefully it will all go well for everyone. Only time will tell!”
Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/09/politics/donald-trump-jerry-nadler/index.html