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The History Behind The Trump 'Small Hands' Insult

ABC News


Nearly 30 years ago, Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair magazine, described Trump in Spy magazine as a “short-fingered vulgarian.”


In an editor’s letter in Vanity Fair last November, Carter said that he wrote the Sky magazine comment in 1988 "just to drive him a little bit crazy."


And it still does.


"Like so many bullies, Trump has skin of gossamer," Carter wrote in November.


"To this day, I receive the occasional envelope from Trump. There is always a photo of him—generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers," Carter wrote. "I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby."


"The most recent offering arrived earlier this year, before his decision to go after the Republican presidential nomination," Carter continued. "Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: 'See, not so short!' I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, 'Actually, quite short.'"


And Carter's theory that Trump is ultra-sensitive to this particular insult appears to be right.


If you thought Rubio's joke on the campaign trail would go un-answered by Trump -- you were wrong.


At a rally outside Detroit, Trump said he would not sit back and be “presidential…when ‘little Marco’" talked about "the size of my hands."


Trump held his hands up and said, "Those hands can hit a golf ball 285 yards."


And at the Republican debate in Detroit, Trump said, "And I have to say this, I have to say this. [Rubio] hit my hands."


"Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this," Trump continued, neglecting to reveal his repeated mailings to Carter. "Look at those hands," Trump said on the debate stage, holding up his hands to the audience. "Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands -- if they are small, something else must be small."


"I guarantee you there is no problem," Trump affirmed. "I guarantee you."