A decade before Donald Trump would make good on his repeated threats to run for president, the breakout reality TV star called his current rival Hillary Clinton “a really, really great person,” while ruminating on her chances to be the first woman to win the White House.
“Now that she knows that so many Americans are behind her, I know that she’ll be thinking long and hard about the Oval Office in three years. It’ll be interesting to see how the process ends up… and also to see Bill Clinton as the first husband.”
Trump’s statements were made in 2005 on his radio show, the aptly named Trumped!, which ran from June 2004 to 2008. On the daily 90-second program, which he predicted would be the start of his takeover of the medium (“Biggest launch in radio history... bigger than Rush Limbaugh,” Trump told The New York Times), the Republican presidential nominee treated listeners across some 400 Clear Channel networks to Apprentice recaps and generic business advice, hocked products like suits and seminars, weighed in on the day’s news, and waxed poetic about life, women, celebrity gossip, and random topics such as anti-vaxxers and the existence of ghosts.
Though some program topics and transcripts can still be accessed through the now defunct Trumped! website, the full transcripts and actual recordings had been seemingly lost to time until BuzzFeed found and published the show’s demo earlier this year. On Monday, The Wall Street Journal also posted eight of the recordings to its website.
The Daily Beast has tracked down six months of full Trumped! transcripts—124 episodes in all—from 2005. These newly available scripts—gifted by Adam Eisenstat, who once served as the director of communications for Trump University, and used the radio spots along with company press releases and the real estate tycoon’s books to transform into the “Voice of Trump”—provide yet another window into The Donald’s opinions on a variety of issues, many of which have changed drastically since he announced his candidacy in 2015.
“The personal connection Americans have with radio makes it a strong fit for the commentary and advice I’ll be sharing,” Trump said on the show’s website. “Business, entertainment, politics, the media—watch out! You’re all fair game.”
Warning aside, Trumped! was less biting social or political commentary and more Deep Thoughts, and often a place where present-day foes, from Hillary Clinton to Eminem, were praised and called friends.
In a transcript from March 2005, Trump references a poll reporting 81 percent of people surveyed would vote for a woman president in 2008.
“So the next question, naturally, is which woman will make history,” he said. “More than half the voters polled think that New York Democrat, a really, really great person, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, should try for the job. A significant majority of those women polled said that a female president would be better than a male president in handling domestic issues.
“I know one thing. If I saw somebody that I liked and if she were a woman, I’d vote for her right away.”
A few months later, Trump dedicated another show to the topic of Clinton’s White House chances. Again he commented on a poll, this one showing majority support for a Clinton presidency in 2008.
“For her part, Hillary says she is currently spending all her time and energy focused on winning reelection to the United States Senate,” he said. “She doesn’t have the time to think about the White House. But nobody’s thinking that she’s not thinking about a presidential run in 2008. Now that she knows that so many Americans are behind her, I know that she’ll be thinking long and hard about the Oval Office in three years.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the process ends up… and also to see Bill Clinton as the first husband.”
This wasn’t the first time Trump spoke well of Hillary Clinton or her electability, and it wouldn’t be the last. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Trump also devoted a 2008 radio show to Clinton on which he said she would “make a good president.”
Trump has of course changed his tune. In recent days, Trump has called Clinton “crooked,” “lying,” “a disaster,” “dangerous,” “incompetent,” “pathetic,” “SAD!” “unfit,” and “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.”
An email requesting comment from Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks was not returned, but Trump has previously explained his high praise for Clinton and others, chalking it up to tactical business decisions.
There was no Twitter in 2005. Instead, the radio show seems to have been Trump’s favored repository for his opinions and outbursts.
On Trumped! the Republican front runner shared a strong affinity for people charged with crimes.
Commenting on a Nashville woman facing charges for hiring a stripper for her 16-year-old son’s birthday party, Trump said, “C’mon. The boy is 16 years old and probably going on 30. The mother loves her son. She’s not looking to hurt him. Give her a break.”
During the trial of Robert Blake, the actor accused and ultimately acquitted of murdering his wife in 2001, Trump noted Blake’s reported alibi, calling it “the worst excuse I’ve ever heard.”
Still, Trump said: “I hope he’s found innocent. [Blake’s wife] was bad news and anybody who uses the excuse that they left their gun in the restaurant and therefore wasn’t in the car when she was shot, can’t be all bad.”
Over several episodes, he weighed in on the Michael Jackson trial. When Jackson was acquitted on multiple counts of child molestation in June 2005, Trump said, “Michael could have left that California courtroom in handcuffs facing as many as 52 years in prison. Instead, he’s a free man and I’m happy for him... Michael, for a little while at least, keep a low profile. Stay out of the tabloids and, for goodness sake, don’t say hello to those little boys.”
Trump often offered unsolicited advice on his show.
In one March episode, Trump warned listeners about get-rich-quick scams.
“If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. The rule is, weed out a lot of the so-called opportunities immediately because there’s so much nonsense going on and usually it’s been done many times before. Not to be a pessimist, but the world is filled with scoundrels looking to make a dishonest buck. Believe me, I’ve met many of them and they are bad. They’re smart. They’re cunning. They’re very, very dishonest.”
Trump might be in a position to know about such scams—he is currently a defendant in three separate lawsuits claiming he conned people out of millions of dollars through Trump University, a real-estate seminar program that New York’s attorney general has called “a fraud from beginning to end.”
In June 2005, Trump spoke on the growing movement against vaccines, based largely on a scientific paper that had been discredited four months earlier.
“Now I’ve known a few parents that are very good people but they just don’t get it when it comes to medicine. They don’t want their daughters or sons to have polio vaccines; they don’t want anything like it. It’s really pretty sad and pretty scary. You know, the polio epidemic was a disaster until the vaccine came out so why wouldn’t you allow your kids to have it?”
Time seems to have shifted Trump’s views. In 2014, Trump tweeted, “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!”
He now says vaccines should be spaced out, an opinion refuted by every major medical association.
Another one of the Republican candidate’s favorite topics was women and sex.
In March 2005, Trump said, “sex is the most fun of all,” and noted that “real estate—particularly making a lot of money in real estate—can be very, very sexy.”
In June, he railed against puritanical hypocrites offended by sex in film. “I don’t understand why people find sex more disturbing that violence in the movies. Why are we more obsessed about sex—which is a natural occurrence—than with violence?”
On women, Trump often meditated on the hotness or notness of various celebrities.
“Now here’s a topic I certainly know a lot about… sexy women. They’ve caused me a lot of trouble,” he said in March of 2005.
Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl performance was a “disgusting peepshow,” and Britney Spears “has gone down, there’s no question about it.” About Angelina Jolie, Trump said, “I never really understood that one because I watched Angelina Jolie with Billy Bob Thornton and she was all over the guy. After you watch that, I mean, do people really dig her?” And Cate Blanchett, “doesn’t have the elegance or the style,” to play Katherine Hepburn.
But Trump also had his favorites. In April, he bemoaned the lack of new Cameron Diaz films. “C’mon Cameron. Get back to work. You’re a terrific actress. We want to see your movies.” In June, he gushed about Paris Hilton: “I’ve know Paris since she was a baby and she was always even a beautiful baby. And over the years many people have underestimated Paris Hilton. But don’t underestimate her.” And in August, he joined Team Jennifer: “I actually happen to think that Jennifer’s better looking than Angelina.”
Trump also praised women for attributes other than beauty. In January, he spoke of the balancing act of working mothers: “I have a lot of women who work for me and they work long hours. Sure, I think it’s sometimes harder for some women because they have to juggle taking care of their families with their careers. I don’t envy that. I don’t envy them. But that doesn’t mean they don’t work just as hard or show just as much skill.”
Infidelity was of particular interest as well. On several shows, Trump makes self-deprecating jabs about his extramarital affairs: “Seventy percent of Britons said infidelity can be forgiven. I guess I haven’t gone out with very many British women.”
In March, Trump, who had just married his third (and current) wife, Melania, two months earlier, shared dismay that a Boeing executive should be fired for an extra-marital affair. “If you really did a poll, I would bet you most of the powerful men running companies are having affairs,” he said.
Trump sometimes veered more into the political, calling NASA’s manned missions, and possibly the entire program, a waste of money (“Maybe some money should be taken out of our space program and put into things like cheaper energy,”), supporting an Arnold Schwarzenegger proposal to ban junk food in schools (“I know schools really rely on the funding dollars that they get from snack food and soft drink companies. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of children’s health,”), and complaining that the United Nations would do a “terrible job” of renovating their headquarters.
According to Trump, the spike in oil prices after Hurricane Katrina wasn’t due to the shutdown of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, but instead was “just a bunch of countries getting together and saying let’s use this terrible hurricane in order to lift our fuel prices even higher.
“It’s not Katrina. It’s the oil producing states. It’s Saudi Arabia saying, “Let’s screw the public.”
Only once did he comment on race on the show. When his pitch for a “blacks-versus-whites” season of The Apprentice was unsurprisingly canned by an offended public, he said that while the idea “may be very reflective of our country and the sad state of things, it may not be the best idea to highlight it even further.”
And on the topic of ghosts, Trump took a firm stance: “Personally, I’m not a believer. I think when people die they hopefully have better things to do than bug the people that are still alive.”