Trump claims the residents of Beverly Hills stink. I put it through the smell test

(Steve Lopez/Los Angeles Times)

Trump claims the residents of Beverly Hills stink. I put it through the smell test

Steve Lopez

March 24, 2024

It was a lovely spring day in Beverly Hills, sunny and mild, and from what I could tell everyone smelled pretty good.

I didn’t actually sniff anyone’s skin or clothing to avoid arrest. But on Wednesday I walked through Roxbury Park, where bowlers and dog walkers seemed to be enjoying themselves, and I didn’t detect any foul odors. The same was true of the adjacent community center.

So I’m not sure what Donald Trump was talking about last fall when he claimed that people in Beverly Hills don’t smell very good because they are limited to a small amount of water when showering. Which is not true by the way. Last month he said again: ‘You can only brush your teeth once a day in Beverly Hills.

These comments may be intended as laugh lines, but coming from a man who still insists he won the last presidential election, it’s hard to know.


, my colleague Doyle McManus neatly summarized Trump’s disdain for the entire state of California, which the former president insisted is failing despite the states being a global economic power. Not that we don’t have major problems with poverty, homelessness and housing, among other things. But as McManus noted, Trump has falsely claimed that the state promises pensions and mansions to undocumented immigrants, and that he can take children from their parents and sterilize them.

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Trump has also said he would send federal officers to Oakland and other cities to shoot shoplifters, and his new name for governor is Gavin New-Scum.

At least he’s not suggesting we shoot stinking people.

During my excursion to Beverly Hills, smelling strangers was just one goal. What I really wanted to talk to people about, especially those who have been around for a while, is whether they remember such a level of absurdity in American politics.

A man facing four criminal charges, including 91 counts, is the runaway candidate for the Republican Party after failing to deliver on virtually every major campaign promise in his first term.


the Capitol is only slightly less chaotic and dysfunctional than when congressional representatives hid under their desks during the insurrection, and the country appears at times to be heading toward civil war.

But back to body odor and Beverly Hills, what I heard about Trump varied, from those who fear the republic to those who can’t wait to vote for him, as they have done in the past.

Let’s start with Mavis Manus, Shirley Hamstra and Viola, who did not want to share her last name due to privacy concerns. I found the three friends relaxing at a table outside the community center, enjoying a snack after a fitness class. When I asked about Trump’s claim that Beverly Hills residents stink, Manus cringed and said she hadn’t heard it.

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I’ve stopped reading about Trump, I have to admit. I just can’t stand that anymore, said Manus, who lives in Beverly Hills; her friends live in nearby communities.

It’s just terrible, Viola interjected.

He’s crazy, Manus said. Too dangerous.

Hamstra called the current climate of provocation and polarization disturbing, but Viola had another word for it: “It’s scary.”

As Manus sees it, Trump tore the scab off the wound of festering populist disillusionment. I agree, although it is only fair to assign at least some of the blame for that populist rage to Democratic politicians who looked beyond the struggles of the working class.

In an evolved civilization, Manus said, you work on your humanity, your kindness, your love, empathy, whatever. Trump, she said, has gone the other way.

The next person I met, who also asked me to use only her first name, said economic discontent was just one of the tickets Trump punched on the way to the White House.

I don’t think it had anything to do with people feeling like they weren’t getting their fair share in the beginning, Susan said. I think it all has to do with racism.

Don Butler, a Vietnam veteran and retired postal worker from Beverly Hills who lives in Inglewood and frequents the Roxbury Park Community Center, which offers a number of senior activities, said the United States was deeply divided when he served abroad. But I don’t think it touches on the divisions that we have now, Butler said.

“We’re comparing, I think, pathetically, to the greatest generation,” Butler said. He has not forgotten that Trump once said of the late Arizona senator and Vietnam POW John McCain: He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who haven’t been captured.

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I’m waiting for him to say, ‘I like Christians who aren’t crucified,'” said Butler, who worries that a second Trump term would be nothing more than revenge and retaliation.

Democracies are collapsing, Butler said. People become disenchanted and in the struggle the idea of ​​freedom becomes more self-centered and greedy. It degenerates into anarchy and ends in a dictatorship. …I’m afraid we are sleepwalking towards dictatorship.

Ray Diwan, who takes dance classes at the community center, said there is a long line of world leaders past and present who have used race, religion and the politics of scapegoating to win and hold on to power. But as someone who was born in India and came to the U.S. from Pakistan as a boy, he is saddened by the current state of affairs.

When Reagan said this was a beautiful city on a hill, it was true at the time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that way now, and that’s a shame, Diwan said.

Like I said, I found a little bit of everything in Beverly Hills. Jay Squires, who was having lunch at the community center with his wife Reycie, said: Go back to the four years of Trump, the economy was booming, there was no inflation, we had no skirmishes around the world. Things under him were fantastic.

That’s one way to look at it.

Squires had never heard of Trump’s claim that body odor is a problem in Beverly Hills, but he didn’t take it personally. Sure, Squires said, Trump occasionally says bizarre things, but he believes the former president


It is also sometimes misrepresented and taken out of context.

The Squires have both voted for Trump before and will do so again, although Reycie wanted to make it clear that she prefers to arrest shoplifters rather than shoot them on sight.

For her husband, illegal immigration is a major problem, and he has a solution that Trump could consider, if he hasn’t already.

Any retired police officer, or part-time police officer, they could be bounty hunters. You know, if you find illegal aliens, send them back, Squires said.

A posse. A raid. Problem solved.

I asked Squires what kind of work he does.

Hair restoration, he said, handing me his card.

But it’s not my hair that I want restored.

We can do a lot for you in just one session, Squires said.

I fear it may be too late.

For my head.

For the republic.

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