In response to Vanity Fair publishing a scathing review of Trump Grill, calling it possibly “the worst restaurant in America,” President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at the publication in a Thursday tweet:
Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
This is the latest in an ongoing feud between Trump and Graydon Carter, an editor at Vanity Fair. Here are seven things you need to know about that feud.
1. It all began when Carter poked fun at Trump’s “short,” “stubby” fingers. Carter referred to Trump in the late 1980s as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in Spy magazine, which is no longer in circulation.
“We ridiculed not just his fingers but also his business judgment, his jaw-dropping pronouncements, his inflated wealth, his hair, and his marital situations,” Carter wrote. “There was a threatened lawsuit, resulting in a lot of back-and-forth legal letters between him and me. And we printed all of those.”
But it was the slight towards his hands that apparently shook Trump, as Carter explained:
To this day, I receive the occasional envelope from Trump. There is always a photo of him—generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers. I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby. The most recent offering arrived earlier this year, before his decision to go after the Republican presidential nomination. Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: “See, not so short!” I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, “Actually, quite short.” Which I can only assume gave him fits.
The feud has only grown since then.
2. Trump’s “stubby” fingers at one point were front and center during the primary. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took aim at Trump’s hands towards the end of February as payback for Trump’s “Little Marco” moniker.
“You know what they say about guys with small hands,” Rubio said, and then paused before adding, “You can’t trust ’em!”
Trump responded in the most Trumpian way possible during one of the Republican primary debates.
“He referred to my hands—if they’re small, something else must be small,” Trump said. “I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee it.”
3. Trump has been tweeting that the end of Vanity Fair is near. Just as Trump kept predicting that Spy would fold, he has done the same for Vanity Fair. A few examples:
Dummy Graydon Carter doesn’t like me too much…great news. He is a real loser! @VanityFair
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2012
Does @VanityFair realize that the purpose of a magazine is to sell issues? Circulation at record low. Spy Mag also failed under Graydon.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2014
Rumor has it that the grubby head of failing @VanityFair Magazine, “Sloppy” Graydon Carter, is going to be fired or replaced very soon?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2015
Vanity Fair circulation down 20 percent. My third rate stalker should start looking for a new job.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2012
.@VanityFair looks like a dying magazine! Really really boring, really really thin!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2012
Sadly, Vanity Fair is a rapidly dying magazine. Needs new blood–and fast! Going the way of SPY Magazine.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2011
Vanity Fair reaches an audience of around 6.9 million people.
4. Trump has taken shots at Carter’s restaurants.
If Graydon Carter’s very dumb bosses would fire him for his terrible circulation numbers at failing Vanity Fair-his bad food restaurants die
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2013
Dopey Graydon Carter, who is presiding over dying @VanityFair magazine, is also presiding over dying Waverly Inn—worst food in city.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2013
The timing of the aforementioned tweets is interesting since they came when Vanity Fair had published articles mocking Trump as well as investigative pieces on the scam that was Trump University. Carter took Trump’s insults in stride, as he put Trump’s “Waverly Inn–worst food in city” comment at the top of the Waverly Inn menu.
5. Carter actually went to one of Trump’s weddings. He attended Trump’s wedding to Marla Maples, and Carter was less than impressed with the real estate mogul because Trump only likes to hear himself talk:
He talks so much and with such velocity that it can make your hair flutter. Whatever wife he has at the time tends to say nothing. Which made his criticism of the silence of Ghazala Khan—the mother of the fallen soldier about whom her husband, Khizr, spoke at the Democratic National Convention—seem even more curious. Family dinners at the Trumps are no different, I’m told. And as a general rule, they are over in 45 minutes. Why just 45 minutes? “Because,” a family member told a friend, “that’s how long it takes Donald to eat.”
Carter was also invited to another one of Trump’s weddings but didn’t go.
6. Vanity Fair put one of Trump’s tweets next to Amy Schumer’s armpits on their cover.
— Alex Beggs (@alex_beggs) April 25, 2016
The Trump tweet read: “@VanityFair Magazine is doing really poorly. It has gotten worse and worse over the years, and has lost almost all of it’s [sic] former allure!”
Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox was naturally amused at Trump’s tweeting obsession with them.
“Given that Trump has spent so much time featuring Vanity Fair and its editor, Graydon Carter, in his daily Twitter musings, it only made sense to acknowledge the years-long 140-character missives he has been launching at what must be his favorite magazine for the first time,” Fox wrote.
7. Carter wrote an angry editor’s letter after Trump won the presidential election. The lengthy letter featured the “Only In America” refrain in describing Trump’s victory, with a brief snippet being:
Only in America could a serial bankrupt pass himself off as a successful businessman. (And almost none of those he bankrupted were even regular businesses. They were casinos—where people essentially come to lose their money.)
Only in America could a man who offended Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, and African-Americans, as well as women, babies, and the handicapped, become the Republican nominee for president.
Only in America could a man for whom truth is an inconvenient concept feel comfortable referring to his opponent as “lying” and “crooked.”
Only in America, a nation built on a history of immigration, could a man who married two immigrants—one of whom is alleged to have worked illegally when she first arrived—run on an anti-immigration platform.
Only in America could a man with a legendary reputation for stiffing small-business owners and wage laborers be able to pass himself off as a champion of the little guy.
Only in America could a man run for the presidency with one of his heralded accomplishments being the fixing of a skating rink in New York’s Central Park, a job the city had bungled for years. (It’s a feat most backyard rink rats in Canada pull off before their 13th birthday.
Only in America could a man who brags about groping and kissing women without their consent win 53 percent of the vote among white women.
Only in America could a man who avoided the draft—with a deferment for pesky bone spurs on his feet, which somehow did not hinder him from playing tennis—and who insulted war heroes and their families become the commander in chief of the greatest military power on earth.
Carter eventually ended his letter with the line: “Do not tell me America is no longer a land of opportunity.”