Billionaire Trump neighbor says his Mar-a-Lago crowd aren't real friends: 'It's all transactional'

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Former President Donald Trump, left, waves to guests during an election night party at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday November 8, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Phelan M. Ebenhack for the Washington Post via Getty Images
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Trump has no real friends in Mar-a-Lago, a Florida billionaire told the Financial Times.
Despite the atmosphere of flattery, it's "all transactional," Jeff Greene told the paper.
Reporters have long noted Trump's penchant for dealing with the rich and famous.
A billionaire who lives near Trump in Florida said former President Donald Trump is not surrounded by true friends at the club, according to the Financial Times.
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Real estate mogul Jeff Greene told the newspaper that the atmosphere of admiration there was "all transactional."
According to the newspaper, Greene joined in 2010 as a Mar-a-Lago member. It was not clear if he remained part of the club.
Trump is known for holding court among allies and admirers at his Florida home, often earning applause when he enters the room, filmmaker Alex Holder said earlier this year.
And the FT described the many fans - including wealthy "trumpets" - flocking to Mar-a-Lago and gushing in praise of the former president. Greene suggested that this was all fake.
When asked who Trump's close friends are, Greene told the newspaper, "I don't think he has any friends."
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He said that one person he knows who plays golf with Trump "all the time" was never invited to the White House when Trump was president, implying that Trump didn't really care about him.
In 2018, Greene made a failed attempt to run as a Democrat for governor of Florida, eight years after a 2010 attempt in the US Senate.
Before the 2018 campaign — when Trump appeared to take offense at an assault ad Greene was running — the couple had a warm relationship, Greene told the paper.
But that was mostly because of his wealth, Greene suggested. "He came to my table, I think because I was a billionaire," he told the FT. "He likes billionaires."
Former President Donald Trump made an official run at the 2024 White House in the Grand Ballroom of Mar-a-Lago on November 15, 2022. Kimberly Leonard/Insider
It's a characterization that also appeared in Confidence Man, the recent book by Maggie Haberman, reporter for the Trump-watching New York Times.
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In an insider excerpt, Trump said his time as president was worth it because he "made so many rich friends and no one knows who they are." Haberman wrote that she found the comment "irritating" when Trump said it.
Of the legions of fans drawn to Trump's club, Greene told the newspaper, "They want to be around him because he's the ex-president."
Trump "likes it when people give in to him ... and tell him how good he is," Greene told the FT.
Despite this, Greene said he feels more welcome at Mar-a-Lago than at other clubs.
Others, like Britain's far-right politician Nigel Farage, told the newspaper he considered Trump a "good friend" who "meant it" when he said in 2016 they would be friends for life.
A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent on Thanksgiving.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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