After a fire in Trump Tower killed one resident on Saturday, U.S. President Trump praised the local fire department for quelling the blaze – but had nothing to say about the death of the tenant, Todd Brassner, whom he reportedly once called a “crazy Jew.”
Brassner, 67, had been a prominent dealer of art and musical instruments who’d hobnobbed with celebrities like Andy Warhol. Yet in recent years, he’d battled health and financial challenges — some directly related to Trump. Brassner hated his apartment and despaired over the Trump presidency.
“I just hope people remember him and he doesn’t become this nameless person who died in the Trump Tower fire,” his friend Rachael Cain told the Forward.
Brassner struggled with diabetes, depression and financial insolvency, and increasingly refused to leave his home on the 50th floor.
Cain said Brassner told her last month that he “was sick and he felt trapped, and he couldn’t sell the apartment.”
The values of Trump Tower condos have plummeted due to dissatisfaction both with Trump personally and with the extra security protection the building now requires. Cain said that Brassner had refused to pay his fees to the condo board and threatened to sue them in protest of the conditions at Trump Tower, which he called a “living hell.”
Brassner filed for bankruptcy in 2015. His claimed assets included the $2.5 million apartment, $400,000 in vintage guitars and a signed portrait of him by Warhol.
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Brassner had reportedly had at least one run-in with Trump before the presidency that left him so despondent.
Another friend of Brassner’s, Patrick Goldsmith, told the New York Daily News that soon after Brassner bought the condo in 1996, Trump told him that Brassner was a “crazy Jew.” Brassner had already had an argument with Trump over an overflowing sink.