20 years ago, Donald Trump told Oprah he'd only run for president under one condition

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Trump would only do it, he said, if America gets really, really bad. Which apparently it has!


HuffPo tracked down this clip of Donald Trump appearing on a 1988 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote his book Trump: Art of the Deal. The conversation turned from the literary to the political, however, when Oprah brought up Trump's then-recent foray into playing policy wonk via $95K in newspaper ads railing against Japan and Saudi Arabia. When pressed, Trump reiterated that the U.S. was getting "ripped off" by its allies:

"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. And, hey, I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people."

This will sound familiar to anyone who watched Trump's kickoff speech, except replacing Japan with China. Anyway, this led Oprah to ask Trump if wanted to run for President, to which he replied:

"Probably not. But I do get tired of seeing the country get ripped off… I just don't think I have the inclination to do it."


"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," Trump said. "We're really making other people live like kings, and we're not."

This was a year after Trump said, "I have no intention of running for President."

Also in this interview: Trump praises Jesse Jackson ("I think Jesse Jackson's done himself very proud") and Michael Dukakis (he's done "one hell of a job" on the campaign thus far). How times have changed!


David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: david.matthews@fusion.net