"If I were Hillary, and she really is a terrific woman, if I were Hillary, I wouldn't want any part of you," Trump told Imus in 2006.
Trump on Bill Clinton in 2014: "I play golf with him and I like him. I mean, what's not to like?"
In several appearances on Don Imus’s radio program reviewed by CNN’s KFile, Donald Trump praised Hillary Clinton as a “really terrific woman,” said Nancy Pelosi was going to do “terrific” as speaker of the House, and offered kind words for Bill Clinton, Charlie Rangel, and the Democratic Party.
Trump has said throughout his 2016 campaign that his prior praise and financial contributions to Democrats were part of his obligation as a businessman to get along with both sides of the aisle. “I was a businessman and it was my obligation to get along with everybody, including the Clintons, including Democrats and liberals and Republicans and conservatives,” Trump said on Fox News in January.
But his effusive past praise for Clinton has repeatedly popped up during the election season. In a 2008 interview with NY1 unearthed by CNN’s KFile earlier this month, Trump said of Clinton, “I think she is going to go down at a minimum as a great senator. I think she is a great wife to a president. And I think Bill Clinton was a great president.”
CNN’s KFILE obtained several episodes of “Imus in the Morning” from the 2000s by requesting them from a fan who archived old episodes. A January 2007 episode was available for download through the Web Archive.
On Hillary Clinton:
In an April 2007 appearance on Imus’s show, Trump called Clinton a “terrific woman” and discussed her wanting to appear on Imus.
“As you know, I mentioned that Hillary wanted to really get on your show,” said Trump. “She has a lot of respect for you, but it doesn’t seem to be reciprocal. She’s a terrific woman. She’d do your show gladly, but you don’t seem to want, according to Bernard and according to watching you, you don’t seem to want her on the show.”
“Well, they screwed me,” said Imus. “Here’s what happened. Ten years ago, when they asked me to speak at that correspondence dinner, I did. They acted like they were all offended. You know? What I said was absolutely true. He was right in the midst of getting the bj’s from the fat girl in the oval office. She was playing three card monte with the billing records. They got all bent out of shape and tried to pretend it wasn’t funny. It wound up getting me on the cover of TIME Magazine and Newsweek…”
Imus roasted the Clintons at the 1996 the Radio-Television Correspondents Association dinner in a speech so brutal a letter of apology was sent to the Clintons from the association. Imus said he blamed the Clintons for much of the blowback to his speech.
After a back and forth on the dinner, Trump said if he were Clinton he wouldn’t want to go on Imus’ show.
“If I were Hillary, and she really is a terrific woman, if I were Hillary, I wouldn’t want any part of you,” Trump said.
On Bill Clinton:
In a February 2014 appearance, Trump said there was nothing not to like about Bill Clinton.
“I watched Bill Clinton yesterday give a little speech, and people do like Bill Clinton. There’s no question about it,” Trump said. “I play golf with him and I like him. I mean, what’s not to like?”
“Yeah, there’s nothing not to like,” said Imus. “You’re absolutely right.”
On Nancy Pelosi, Democrats, and Charlie Rangel:
In a January 2007 interview after the Democrats won the 2006 midterms election in landslide, Trump praised Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Charlie Rangel. He also expressed his high hopes for a Democrat-controlled Congress.
“I know Nancy Pelosi,” Trump said. “I actually got to meet her through a great friend of mine, and really a great man, Charlie Rangel. Charlie introduced me to her. I got to like her a lot. I’ve been with her a little bit. I think she’s going to be terrific. I think Charlie and the Democrats, I think they’re going to do a very good job. I think that slowly they’re going to squeeze them out of this war.”