A newly-published video of a long-lost interview conducted by tv personality and Big Think contributor Ruby Wax in 2000 shows Trump losing his cool and appearing to threaten her.
A BAFTA award-nominated interviewer, comedian, actress, and author Wax calls the interview as part of her BBC program “Ruby’s American Pie” to be “one of the most excrutiating moments of my career. It did not feel good.”
Wax interviewed Donald Trump during his first Presidential campaign of 2000. Her interviewing style comes off as somewhat provocative, trying to get Trump to give more colorful reactions. And she seems to get under Donald’s skin from the beginning. Eventually, a visibly irritated Trump calls her “angry with a smile”, stating as a half-joke that:
“She’s the world’s most obnoxious reporter. She’s a big reporter in England. She means nothing over here.”
He also calls her professional skills into question on several occasions, challenging how the crew sets up shots and stating “the competition isn’t much” when passing by Wax.
Responding to the host’s apparent baiting of him on several issues, including his supposed objectification of women, he goes away, then comes back to offer this intimidating remark:
“I just think your show won’t turn out well. It’s somewhat of a comedy show. You’re looking for laughs. Trying to make me look as bad as possible. And that’s ok. You know what, Selina Scott made me look as bad as possible. Where is she now? Whatever happened to Selina Scott?”, adding later “the ghost of Selina Scott”.
What Trump is referring to is his well-publicized feud with Selina Scott, a British TV news star back in the 90s. What happened then is quite reminiscent of his current feud with Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly. After an unflattering ITV piece, Trump called Scott “sleazy” and “unattractive” and continued to denigrate her publicly.
This is how Scott recounted her take on that situation:
"We were at 30,000 feet on Trump's private jet flying to Florida, when he showed me his white leather double bed. "I like beautiful things," he purred seductively. "That's why I like you so much."
This was just one of many revealing and excruciating moments during the two weeks I spent with Trump in 1995 while making a 60-minute profile of him for ITV — a fortnight which started with a charm offensive but ended in bitterness, recrimination and intimidating letters that only stopped when I threatened legal action."
When he realizes that the Selina Scott mention would end up in Wax’s piece, he seems to try to step back:
“I think she was a terrible reporter. Totally got it wrong. As proven, here I am. Bigger and better than ever.”
At another point of Ruby Wax's segment, Trump gives her a ride in his limo, without cameras rolling. Ruby Wax made a separate statement about what happened then:
"At that point he gave me a lift in his limo and the regret of my life is I didn’t have my sound equipment switched on or a camera. In the car he got down and dirty, trying to shock me by giving me detailed accounts of what he likes to do with his many many women - the one thing I am is unshockable but was utterly revolted. Roger Stone (his political consultant) was in the car and laughed like a drain at Donald’s hilarious carnal tales."
By the end of the video segment, Trump seemingly makes peace with Ruby Wax, calling her “not as obnoxious as I said… but still very obnoxious… but that’s ok.”.
The footage in the interview appears to add to the perception of the President-elect Donald Trump’s short temper, supposed vindictiveness, his tendency to challenge and suppress the media, and that he often treats women with outright sexism.
The Trump interview starts at about 12:42.
For more Ruby Wax, check out this fascinating talk for Big Think: