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Donald Trump wants to build a $100-million ballroom in the White House

April 19, 2011 | 10:57 am

Property magnate and reality TV star onald Trump speaks to the press following a press conference in the White and Gold Ballroom at his club, Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida

Donald Trump may be eyeing the White House, but instead of measuring the drapes he's dreaming of a giant ballroom.

"I called up the White House about a year ago," the boisterous billionaire told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "And I saw that they were having lots of functions for people like the president of China … and I said, 'Listen, every time I see a function, you put an old broken canvas tent that they probably pay some guy, some local guy a fortune for.' I said, 'I will build you, free of charge,' to a very high official at the White House, 'one of the great ballrooms of the world,' " Trump said.

The official was David Axelrod, who confirmed with ABC that the proposed ballroom would be a lot like the gaudy white-and-gold spectacle at Trump's 118-room, 65,000-square-foot-plus Palm Beach, Fla., estate, Mar-A-Lago.

Trump says such a room would cost "maybe $100 million. Anywhere from $50 to $100 million."

What good is being a billionaire if you can't allow yourself some wiggle room when building a ballroom?

Trump says he would bring in the world's top 10 architects, set up a committe, and then be democratic about the much-needed ballroom with the eight- or nine-figure price tag.

"We’ll pick the one that everybody agrees, because it's a little delicate," Trump, who has recently been a fixture on TV talk shows, said. "You know, it is the White House, after all."


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Note: Andrew Malcolm is on vacation.

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Donald Trump holds court with the media in the ballroom of his Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Credit: Joe Skipper / Reuters