Barbara Walters is trending on this #ThrowbackThursday for an old clip of an interview she did with Donald Trump for 20/20 back in August 1990, when Trump was facing financial trouble on almost every front, from the Taj Mahal casino to his airline to Manhattan land developments. The clip circulating on Twitter begins with Trump stating that he hopes the general public understands “how inherently dishonest the press in this country is.” Walters replies with, “As a member of the press, let me try to clear up some of the things which you say aren’t true.” She then goes to town and doesn’t let up when he tries to interrupt her or talk around some pointed questions. It’s the type of serious interview that we haven’t seen nearly enough of in the past four years (partial credit to Chris Wallace for his recent sit-down with 45).
The interview was part of Trump’s promotional campaign for his book Surviving At The Top. And that title is just one of the things Walters doesn’t take at face value. How is this guy surviving at the top when he is on the verge of bankruptcy and got bailed out by banks, under very strict terms? “You have a lot of problems,” Walters says at one point. Indeed.
BARBARA WALTER WAS DONE WITH DONALD’S BS IN 1990 ???? pic.twitter.com/sp5KAZCMPy
— ꧁????????????????????????????꧂ (@BLONDIE_007_) July 21, 2020
The clip circulating on Twitter is from the middle portion of the almost 20-minute interview and while it’s only a snippet, it sums up a lot of Trump’s current persona: his disdain for the press, his refusal to admit his own mistakes, and his rocky relationship with facts. But Walters is in control here. When she drops the nugget “I talked to your bankers,” you know she is not messing around.
Later, Trump tries to spread the falsehood that lots of people are saying he got a great deal on the Plaza Hotel. Walters retorts with a simple, “No they’re not.” It’s a perfect end to this clip, but it turns out she was just getting started. In the full interview, which is also available, Walters keeps bringing the receipts.
It’s worth checking out the entire interview for full context, in case you need to be reminded about what a real interview looks like.