Trump Spent ’93 White House Correspondents Dinner Ogling Attendees

As an invited guest to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 1993, Donald Trump spent the entire evening ogling — and making lewd comments about — women at the event, at one point moving a fellow guest stuck seated next to him nearly to tears.

In an editorial by Graydon Carter published online Tuesday, the Vanity Fair editor-in-chief explains Trump had been invited as a “novelty guest” to the function, meant to make a splash in tabloids on Vanity Fair’s behalf.

Trump was seated at a table with other such guests: Christopher Hitchens, Bob Shrum, Barry Diller, Diane von Furstenberg, Peggy Noonan, Tipper Gore, and Vendela Kirsebom, who at the time was a prominent runway model. Carter sat her next to Trump.

“After 45 minutes [Kirsebom] came over to my table, almost in tears, and pleaded with me to move her,” he writes. “It seems that Trump had spent his entire time with her assaying the ‘tits’ and legs of the other female guests and asking how they measured up to those of other women, including his wife. ‘He is,’ she told me, in words that seemed familiar, ‘the most vulgar man I have ever met.’”

Trump’s treatment of women has come under extra scrutiny since the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, when Hillary Clinton told the story of Alicia Machado, the 1996 winner of the Miss Universe competition who Trump publicly shamed into losing weight. He also reportedly referred to her by names including “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.”

The morning after the debate, Trump blamed Machado for his behavior, saying she had “gained a massive amount of weight,” and later urged his Twitter followers to find a sex tape featuring Machado, the existence of which is still unproven.

Carter, who co-founded the satirical publication Spy Magazine in 1986, became the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair in 1992. Spy was well-known for its pranks targeting New York’s gaudy socialites in the late ‘80s.


Graydon Carter

In one notable stunt, discussed in Tuesday’s editorial, the magazine sent checks for increasingly small sums to New York’s “well-known” and “well-heeled” to see who would cash them. When the checks dropped to 13 cents, just two recipients thought them worth signing: Adnan Khashoggi, the billionaire Saudi Arabian arms dealer, and Donald Trump.

Spy Magazine was also the first to notice Trump’s digits, labeling him a “short-fingered vulgarian,” to his continued frustration (Trump still sends photos of his hands to Carter, fingers circled in gold Sharpie).

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: