Maureen Dowd: Donald Trump’s ‘Ego Arithmetic Hasn’t Changed’

The Times columnist speaks to Trump's changing persona and unchanging ego.

— -- Maureen Dowd has covered Donald Trump for more than a decade as a columnist for The New York Times.

She told ABC News that the Republican presidential nominee's “ego arithmetic hasn’t changed," meaning that "he would donate to candidates of both parties and basically it was like what would benefit his business.”

According to Dowd, Trump's office at Trump Tower "is like an infinity mirror. He has pictures of himself just papering the whole office. And then his desk is all full of magazines where he is on the cover...the whole office is like this pure odyssey through his ego.”

Speaking on ABC’s Powerhouse Politics Podcast, Dowd said she wondered why he would want to become a politician.

“I asked him once, ‘Why are you running.’ It didn’t seem to me a wise decision to trade in a perfectly good reputation as this kind of fun huckster for a reputation as a scary Hitler. And I said, ‘Why couldn’t you run more like the person you were in New York all those years?'" she recalled. "He had a cartoonish reputation like a Batman character or villain but not hatred."

Dowd, author of the new book, "The Year of Voting Dangerously, the Derangement of American Politics," said she was disappointed by Trump’s recent tweet calling her "wacky" and a "neurotic dope."

"I felt like he hadn’t put much effort into giving me a good nickname. He calls all women reporters that he doesn’t like 'wacky and neurotic,'" she said. "I was hoping I would have something more distinctive like Pocahontas or Sleepy Eyes, which he uses for Chuck Todd. But I just got a generic one for women.”

ABC News' Jon Karl and Rick Klein asked Dowd whether her sister, who had been a Trump supporter, would be voting for him.

"I talked to Trump about this. He said, 'Is your sister still voting for me?' a couple months ago. And I said 'No' because you retweeted that unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz," Dowd said. "And he said it was not that unflattering. And I said, 'Yes it was. It was just a terrible thing to do. Why don’t you just apologize?' And there was this long silence. And then he goes ‘OK, I apologize.’ I got the first apology out of him!"

This episode of ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and TuneIn.