Film of a 1988 meeting on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” indicates then-business magnate Donald Trump think about the possibility of a future offer for the administration.
“You’ve said though that if you did run for president you believe you’d win,” host Oprah Winfrey remarked to Trump.
Trump’s prediction makes the “biggest upset” in U.S. political history — Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory over Hillary Clinton — all the more special.
“Well I don’t know, I think I’d win. I tell you what I wouldn’t go in to lose,” Trump said. “I’ve never gone in to lose in my life.”
He continued: “And if I did decide to do it I think I’d be inclined — I would say that I would have a hell of a chance of winning … I think people are tired of seeing the United States ripped off and I can’t promise you everything, but I can tell you one thing, this country would make one hell of a lot of money from those people that for 25 years have taken advantage. It wouldn’t be the way it’s been, believe me.”
Nearly 30 years later, Trump is now the president of the United States, and the economy has shown growth during his tenure.
The Western Journal reported that Commerce Department data showed U.S. third-quarter GDP growth in 2017 was the highest it had been in three years.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers in November that “the economy will continue to expand.”
The Labor department announced in early November that the unemployment rate was at 4.1 percent, the lowest it has been in nearly 17 years. That same day, the Standard & Poor’s 500 set a new Wall Street record, according to Fox News.
“Unemployment is down to 4.1%, lowest in 17 years. 1.5 million new jobs created since I took office. Highest stock Market ever, up $5.4 trill,” Trump tweeted in response to the news in November.
Unemployment is down to 4.1%, lowest in 17 years. 1.5 million new jobs created since I took office. Highest stock Market ever, up $5.4 trill
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2017
During the 1988 interview, Trump was also asked about a full-page ad criticizing U.S. foreign policy that he had placed into newspapers across the U.S.
“What would you do differently Donald?” Winfrey asked.
“I’d make our allies pay their fair share. We’re a debtor nation,” Trump remarked. “Something is going to happen over the next number of years with this country, because you can’t keep going on losing $200 billion.”
The business-mogul-turned president has always been vocal about the U.S. engaging in poor trade agreements with other countries. In the late 1980s, Trump’s ire was aimed at Japan, stating “we let Japan in and dump everything right into our markets. It’s not free trade.”
“I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people — I mean you can respect somebody that’s beaten the hell out of you, but they are beating the hell out of this country,” Trump added.
During his candidacy and presidency, Trump has focused heavily on renegotiating U.S. foreign policy. However, his country of focus has shifted from Japan, to China in the nearly 30 years since his “Oprah” appearance.
Trump voiced his disdain with trade policies between the U.S. and China during a 2016 presidential campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing,” Trump said. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”
After an extensive visit to Asia in November, Trump announced $250 billion in deals between the U.S. and China.
“The contributions of the business community represented here today are vital to our efforts to ensure peace and prosperity for our two nations. Together, we can unlock a future of opportunity, wealth, and dignity far beyond anybody’s wildest dreams,” Trump said on the final day of his visit to Asia.
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