Americans have been blown away by a 1988 video featuring Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump. Many people are claiming it’s something the “Queen of all Media” can’t deny and will never live down.
Donald Trump appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s popular talk show in 1988. For years, the two celebrities had been friends and socialized in the same circles. Years later, Americans were taken aback when one of Winfrey’s lines of questioning proved prophetic.
Trump appeared on the show to promote his best-selling book “The Art of the Deal” and to talk about his business life, but the subject quickly shifted to international policy and how Trump would take a stronger position with America’s allies. “What would you do differently Donald?” Winfrey asked.
“I’d make our allies pay their fair share,” Trump replied. “We’re a debtor nation; something’s going to happen, over the next number of years in this country, because you can’t keep going on losing $200 billion,” he said. “We let Japan come in and dump everything right into our markets… They come over here, they sell their cars, their VCRs. They knock the hell out of our companies.”
Trump continued, “And, hey, I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people. I mean, you can respect somebody that’s beating the hell out of you, but they are beating the hell out of this country. Kuwait, they live like kings… and yet, they’re not paying. We make it possible for them to sell their oil. Why aren’t they paying us 25 percent of what they’re making? It’s a joke.”
Trump’s response seemed to pique Winfrey’s interest and prompted her to ask a pivotal question that peered into the future. “This sounds like political, presidential talk to me,” she said. “I know people have talked to you about whether or not you want to run; would you ever?”
“Probably not,” Trump responded. “But I do get tired of seeing the country get ripped off… I just don’t think I have the inclination to do it.” However, Trump wasn’t finished speculating. “If it got so bad, I would never want to rule it out totally, because I really am tired of seeing what’s happening with this country,” he added. “We’re really making other people live like kings, and we’re not.”
Even though Trump wasn’t interested in running for president back then, that didn’t stop the tycoon from predicting how he would fare if he did enter the presidential race. “I think I’d win,” Trump said. “I’ll tell you what: I wouldn’t go into it to lose. I’ve never gone in to lose in my life. And if I did decide to do it, I would say I’d have a hell of a chance of winning,” he said. “I think people are tired of seeing the United States ripped off.”
The resurfaced video went viral with Americans posting their opinions online. “I respect this man for living up to his very own words 20+ years after saying them,” wrote one fan. Another social media user alleged Winfrey was showing support for a Trump presidency: “Basically, Oprah gives Trump a huge platform to talk about becoming president. 30-40 years later they’re insulting each other!”
“Winfrey can’t deny this!” posted another viewer. “Look how much they respected him back then. It’s surreal.” Another Trump supporter wrote, “He is so consistent and still stands by what he said years ago.” Another backer of the 45th president posted, “Well, at least now we can definitely say that his political agenda is not just a farce to attract the voters. 34 years had passed, so apparently he actually believes in what he stands for.”
Trump and Winfrey enjoyed a close friendship in the past, with the brash businessman famously declaring in 1999 that if he ever ran for president, he would want her as his running mate. “I love Oprah,” Trump told CNN’s Larry King. “Oprah would always be my first choice. … I’ll tell ya, she’s really a great woman, though. She is a terrific woman. She’s somebody that’s very special.” However, that relationship went sour when their political differences became evident. “[Oprah] used to go to Mar-a-Lago,” Trump said in 2019. “She loved me until I decided to run for office.”