Donald Trump continued a tradition among presidential candidates by sitting down for an hour-long interview with the Washington Post editorial board on Monday. Prior to deciding on which candidates to endorse, the top editors at many major newspapers — The Washington Post and others — generally bring candidates into their offices and subject them a wide range of questions, covering a variety of policy areas.
But the Donald Trump interview with The Washington Post was, in many respects and in the paper’s own words, “baffling.” The New York real estate mogul and reality television personality often avoided direct answers to questions, which in itself is not unusual. But the answers that he often gave and comments he made left the Post editors scratching their heads on several significant occasions.
Listen to the entire, unedited audio of the hour-long Donald Trump Washington Post interview below.
In perhaps the most strange and off-putting moment, Trump responded to a question about his campaign rhetoric regarding Muslims from Washington Post digital editor Karen Attiah, by telling Attiah that she was “beautiful.”
So. I got hit on today by Donald Trump.
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) March 21, 2016
“I was stunned. I didn’t say thank you, and I don’t think I smiled. He then walked out to meet with my Post colleagues briefly before heading to the elevator,” Attiah wrote in an account of the incident published Monday.
“I stayed in the conference room for a few minutes as it sunk in that the potential GOP nominee for president thought it was okay to comment on my appearance. Did he just say that?” she wrote.
But Trump also commented on the appearance of the entire editorial board, calling the Post editors “a very good looking group of people.” As odd a comment as that might have seemed in the formal setting of an endorsement interview, the remark was made even more strange by the context in which Trump offered it — a response to a question about whether he would attack the ISIS terrorist group wth nuclear weapons.
“Remember, one thing that everybody has said, I’m a counter-puncher,” Trump said, in response to the initial question by Post publisher Fred Ryan. “Rubio hit me. Bush hit me. When I said low energy, he’s a low-energy individual, he hit me first. He spent, by the way — he spent 18 million dollars’ worth of negative ads on me. That’s putting…”
Ryan then pressed Trump on the issue.
“This is about ISIS,” Ryan interjected. “You would not use a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS?”
Trump again failed to answer the question directly.
“I’ll tell you one thing, this is a very good looking group of people here,” Trump replied. “Could I just go around so I know who the hell I’m talking to?”
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Donald Trump also spent what the Post said was “550 words” describing his own hands. And he responded to a question about why he brought up the size of his own penis during a presidential debate by saying, “I don’t want people to go around thinking that I have a problem.”
Trump also told the Post editors that he planned to take out advertisements attacking the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team, whom he felt had been critical of him.
“I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs,” Trump said. “I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that? I’ll start doing ads about their baseball team.”
Monday was a day, like many others, of strange and controversial statements by Trump, such as his statement made at a press conference earlier in the day in which he said that Israel should pay back foreign aid money it has received from the United States.
— líвєrtч lαdч ن (@1Liberty_Lady) March 21, 2016
For a full transcript of the bizarre Donald Trump interview with the Washington Post editorial board, visit this link.
[Photo By Mark Wilson/Getty Images]