Ms. MacIntosh had called Mr. Trump one day in May 1997 to ask him about a tip she had received that his second wife, Marla Maples, had purchased two gold Lexus cars and that he had made her return them.
“He said, ‘I have something better for you,’” Ms. MacIntosh recalled in an interview on Wednesday. If she dropped that story, he said, he would give her bigger news — that he planned to divorce Ms. Maples. When Ms. MacIntosh pressed him on why, he “essentially blamed her family,” she said, referring to Ms. Maples’s Georgia-based relatives.
“Are you old enough to remember the show ‘The Beverly Hillbillies?’” he asked Ms. MacIntosh.
She replied yes, and Mr. Trump laughed and said, “That’s exactly her family, except they came to New York City instead of Beverly Hills.” Ms. MacIntosh added, “I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said she was constantly surrounded ‘by an entourage of dumb Southerners.’” He even adopted a fake southern accent to mimic Ms. Maples’s mother, Ms. MacIntosh said.Northerners ridiculing Southerners is, of course, old news. I've written about it most recently here. But coming from President Trump, these words and attitudes become political news because he has relied so heavily on southern white voters to put him in power.
The incident reminds me of a time early in my teaching career when a student who had grown up in greater New York City approached me about five weeks into the semester and said something like this, "You know, Professor Pruitt, we didn't think you were very smart at the beginning of the semester, because of your accent and such. But you really have quite a vocabulary, and we've changed our assessment of you." Gee, thanks! At least that student had remained open to changing her assessment over the course of those early weeks.