Donald Trump “exploded” with anger after ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked the then-presidential candidate about Russia and his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview ahead of the 2016 election. according to a new book.
“Once the cameras turned off, storm clouds appeared over Trump’s face,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman detailed in “Confidence Man,” an advance copy of which was obtained by CNN this week.
Trump, Haberman said, told ABC News producer John Santucci that Stephanoulous’ questioning line about Russia and Putin was “bullshit.”
“Eight fucking follow-ups – are you kidding me?” Trump allegedly scolded, before launching into this domestic violence analogy:
It’s like asking me if I beat my wife. You ask me once, I say “Fuck no” and we move on. You don’t ask me then if I hit her with a fucking baseball bat or a fucking golf club. That was bullshit and you better fix it in the edit.
“Trump exploded” when Stephanopoulos then “laughed” and said his team had said “I didn’t ask you enough” about Russia, Haberman said.
The future president would have replied: “Are you kidding me? Eighteen fucking follow-ups – how many different ways do I have to say I don’t know the guy? »
As president, Trump has frequently praised Putin and tried to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into smearing his likely 2020 election rival, Joe Biden.