The History Behind the Donald Trump 'Small Hands' Insult

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a debate sponsored by Fox News at the Fox Theatre, March 3, 2016, in Detroit.PlayChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WATCH Trump v. Rubio: Little Hands

Marco Rubio told supporters last week that GOP presidential rival Donald Trump is "always calling me 'little Marco.'"

"He is taller than me, he's like 6' 2", which is why I don't understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5' 2"," Rubio joked. "Have you seen his hands? And you know what they say about men with small hands -- "

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The crowd erupted.

" -- You can't trust them," Rubio said.

Rubio’s comment may come across tasteless for a presidential hopeful, but that was not the first time someone has questioned the size of Trump’s hands.

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 according to Carter, 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 last week would go un-answered by Trump -- you were wrong.

Trump has brought up his hands up at least twice in the past 24 hours.

At a rally outside Detroit this morning, 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 last night, 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."