- Win McNamee / Getty Images
• Donald Trump would tell his younger self to steer clear of a White House run.
• At least, that’s what the president said during an interview with conservative activist Charlie Kirk.
• Trump went on to explain he “got the greatest publicity” before the 2016 presidential election.
Donald Trump might do things differently, if he could go back in time.
At least, that’s what the president suggested in an interview with conservative activist and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.
When Kirk asked Trump what he would tell his 25-year-old self, the president responded, “Don’t run for president.” At the age of 25, Trump had just taken over his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son. The company was later rebranded as the Trump Organization.
“We’re glad you did,” Kirk said, as the audience at the White House’s Generation Next forum applauded.
As it would happen, a former United States president once gave Trump the opposite advice. Richard Nixon wrote to the then-real estate developer in 1987, encouraging him to run for office.
The reason? Nixon’s wife Pat had apparently enjoyed Trump’s appearance on the Donahue Show. The future president was 41 at the time. Trump now keeps the brief letter on the table behind his desk in the Oval Office.
In his interview with Kirk, Trump went on to explain the reasoning behind his statement.
“I got the greatest publicity,” he said. “Until I ran for office.”
Rumors that Trump didn’t really want to win the presidency are nothing new, regardless of whether or not the president was being serious in his exchange with Kirk.
In a post written for New York Magazine, Wolff reported that Trump’s true goal was to use the exposure he received during the election to launch his own television network and, ultimately, become “the most famous man in the world.”
Either way, Trump didn’t dwell on any potential regrets during his interview with Kirk. He promptly launched into one of his favorite topics: the media.
“People really do get it,” he said. “There is a lot of fake news out there. Nobody had any idea. I’m actually proud of the fact that I exposed it, to a large extent. Because we exposed it. It’s an achievement. When I say fake, I don’t mean everybody. Not every one of those people back there. I just say we have shown something that a lot of people really didn’t understand.”
See a clip of the interview below:
Q: "What advice would you give to the 25-year-old Donald Trump knowing what you know today."
Trump: "Don't run for president." pic.twitter.com/I7PsPvHUMq
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) March 22, 2018