US election: What Trump interviews with biographer tell us

More than five hours of previously unreleased interviews with Donald Trump have been released to the New York Times. What do the tapes tell us?

The interviews, which were carried out by journalist Michael D’Antonio in 2014, were one of the last extensive conversations Mr Trump had with anyone in the media before he ran for president.

Mr D’Antonio used the interviews as the basis for his biography of the man who became the Republican nominee, called The Truth About Trump.

Here are eight things we learned from the recordings

When Mr Trump is pushed on why he is “always in the present” he tells the journalist: “The problem people have with me is that I’m not in the past, I’m a person that thinks to the future.

“I learn from the past but I don’t focus on the past, which I think is a very important lesson,” he says, before adding that he “doesn’t reflect and he doesn’t want anyone else to”.

In another interview he says: “I don’t like to analyse myself because I might not like what I see.”

“I was a very rebellious kind of person,” Mr Trump says about his childhood in Queens, New York. “I don’t like to talk about it, actually. But I was a very rebellious person and very set in my ways.

“I loved to fight. I always loved to fight,” he says, before adding: “All types of fights. Any kind of fight, I loved it, including physical.”

Despite going through several bankruptcies, he says in one interview: “I never had a failure, because I always turned a failure into a success.”

On seeing his name in print for the first time (when he hit a home run as a promising young baseball player), he says: “Seeing my name in print felt good, it was very interesting.”

“Most people aren’t in print, don’t forget. I think most people would like it, but who’s in print? Nobody’s in print,” he adds. “Very few people are in print.”

Later he tells the journalist that he now has a team of staff who monitor references to him in the press.

“There are thousands of them a day,” he says.

“To be a good politician you have to be a salesman, OK?” Mr Trump says. “I’ve known every politician. I know them all. Many of them are friends of mine.

“Many of the enemies that you see on television talking about me are friends of mine, you understand that. Guys that you would never believe, but they’re friends of mine. I know them all.

“To be a great politician, you have to be a great salesman.”

“I think my honesty gets me in trouble. I think that I’m so honest that it gets me in trouble,” he says.

“I’m a very smart person. I could give an answer that’s perfect and everything’s fine and nobody would care about it, nobody would write about it, and it would be fine.”

“Or I could give an honest answer, which becomes a big story.”

“Sports is a great metaphor for a lot of things,” he tells Mr D’Antonio. “You have guys that, in playing golf, they’re very good putters or they’re very good ball-strikers or they’re very good at something.

“It was very natural for me. I’m a natural putter,” Mr Trump says. “You know you have guys that can’t putt, and you have guys that don’t understand why they can’t putt. A lot of it is genetic.”

As part of his research, Mr D’Antonio also spoke to Mr Trump’s ex-wife Ivana. She told him a story about a skiing trip they took in Colorado soon after they began dating.

Mr Trump, who was unaware that Ivana was a confident skier, went down a slope and called for his girlfriend to follow him, saying: “Come on, baby. Come on, baby.”

“I went up. I went two flips up in the air, two flips in front of him. I disappeared,” Ivana tells the journalist.

“Donald was so angry, he took off his skis, his ski boots, and walked up to the restaurant. He could not take it. He could not take it.”

Source: BBC

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