NY Times Publishes Old Trump Interviews: ‘Most People Aren’t Worthy Of Respect’

A series of interviews conducted in 2014 reveal Donald Trump’s unrelenting focus on fame, and his belief that “most people aren’t worthy of respect.”

The interviews, which the New York Times reported spanned more than five hours and constitute the last extensive biographical interviews Trump gave before his presidential bid, were conducted by Michael D’Antonio, a Trump biographer and Pulitzer Prize winner. Unhappy with Trump’s campaign, according to the Times, D’Antonio gave transcripts of the tapes to the Clinton campaign, and he went to the newspaper when the campaign didn’t act on them.

The quotes and audio clips published Monday, though occasionally lacking context, paint a picture of Trump’s worldview in the run-up to the start of his presidential campaign in June 2015.

If there is an overarching theme to Trump’s comments to D’Antonio, it’s his faith in fame and reputation as signs of success.

Trump brags about his presence in the media (“Well, most people aren’t in print, though. Don’t forget. How many people are in print?”) and of the manifestations of that fame when he walks into a star-struck room.

“I think what would unnerve me is if it didn’t happen,” he recalled to D’Antonio about crowds of people watching his every move.

He considered those who lose fame, like Arsenio Hall, who Trump called “dead as dog meat,” as not worth his time.

“For the most part,” Trump said in a separate exchange, “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect.”

The flip side, of course, is the Republican nominee’s inability to confront his own short-comings.

“No, I don’t want to think about it,” Trump said when asked if he contemplated the meaning of his life. “I don’t like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see.”

Asked by the Times about the interviews, Trump called the recordings “Pretty old and pretty boring stuff. Hope people enjoy it.”

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