According to an excerpt published in The Atlantic, the former president turned to two aides during their interview at Mar-a-Lago and said: “I love being with her; she’s like my psychiatrist.”
Ms Haberman cultivated a lengthy and fruitful relationship with the former president dating back to when she covered his business empire for the New York Post and New York Daily News.
Using her contacts in Trumpworld she broke dozens of exclusives during his 2016 campaign and over the course of his presidency, and was part of a reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018.
Writing in Confidence Man, Ms Haberman said of the “psychiatrist” compliment: “It was a meaningless line, almost certainly intended to flatter, the kind of thing he has said about the power of release he got from his Twitter feed or other interviews he has given over the years.
“The reality is that he treats everyone like they are his psychiatrists—reporters, government aides, and members of Congress, friends and pseudo-friends and rally attendees and White House staff and customers.”
Ms Haberman’s book details Mr Trump’s rise in the New York real estate business, in a world “filled with shady figures and rife with backbiting and financial knife fighting”.
It was during that period that Mr Trump honed his technique of attacking the media while constantly wanting to be the centre of attention.
That “relentless desire to hold the media’s gaze” has seen Mr Trump grant interviews to almost every author writing about his presidency, she noted, in spite of his tarnished legacy after January 6.
She wrote that she had been on the receiving end of both his praise and broadsides.
In the same excerpt, Ms Haberman writes that the former president brazenly lied that he had not been watching television as the attack on the Capitol unfolded.
Several Trump aides have testified under oath that he watched television in the White House for hours as rioters breached the Capitol.
Ms Haberman also revealed details about how Mr Trump told a confidante that he would remain in the White House after Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to an excerpt obtained by CNN.
* Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America will be published on 3 October by Penguin Random House.