The United States is currently embroiled in what is unquestionably one the most bizarre and unpredictable presidential races in its history. In this strange context, the world of architecture has unexpectedly found itself a hot political topic, with one architect at the center of the controversy: Andrew Tesoro.
Tesoro's involvement in the presidential race began with a video created by Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign. In the video, Tesoro tells a story of how Republican nominee Donald Trump "bullied" him and his architectural firm Tesoro Architects out of "many thousands of dollars" which were owed for their design services. Subsequently, Tesoro received something of a shout-out from Hillary Clinton in Monday's presidential debate as evidence that Trump's business experience does not qualify him to be president.
Given the nature of the campaign video, which was undoubtedly edited to paint Trump in a negative light, many have understandably questioned whether Tesoro's opinions and story were accurately portrayed. This skepticism was then reinforced by a "condensed and edited interview" published by Forbes, which suggested that Tesoro's opinion of Trump was much more forgiving than the one perpetuated by the Clinton campaign. Given the confusion around Tesoro's true opinions, ArchDaily decided to give the architect a chance to present his message unambiguously. What follows are Andrew Tesoro's responses to three simple questions about Donald Trump. These responses have not been edited by ArchDaily staff.
Above: The video produced by Clinton's campaign featuring Andrew Tesoro.
What are your opinions on Donald Trump as a client?
The Forbes Magazine article was edited to grossly distort my intended message - Many of my remarks were taken out of context to imply that I simply and foolishly, would like to be buddies with Donald after he short-changed me by a lot of money. That's wrong.
Donald Trump was a demanding client, difficult and impatient but also congenial, involved in the project, and not generally unpleasant to work with on a day-to-day basis, in the context of an architectural project.
What are your opinions on Donald Trump as a businessman in general?
I am not qualified to judge Mr. Trump's business abilities broadly. However Donald Trump, and his organization's way of managing relationships with professionals, contractors, vendors - is driven by an aggressive machine - motivated by an infatuation with money (holding greedily onto every dime, often deceitfully) to squeeze every possible dollar without regard for the value of the work, the responsibility to honor agreements, or fairness to those who worked hard on Trump's behalf.
Above: A clip of the first presidential debate on Monday September 26th in which Clinton references Tesoro.
What are your opinions on Donald Trump as a presidential candidate?
Mr. Trump should not be a presidential candidate. His behavior is disgraceful - (I don't think he is as hateful and mean-spirited as he seems on the campaign trail). The bizarre nature of his inflated ego, his lack of patience and ability to listen to others, his distorted instinct to measure all matters in only monetary terms - are disqualifying realities. He wants to win the race, but I am reasonably certain that in his heart, he does not want to do the job. Hillary Clinton is a far superior candidate.