Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Panama City, Fla. on Oct. 11, 2016.
Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Hindsight does no favors for Donald Trump

In 2006, Donald Trump appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show – the developer was a regular guest – and the host said, “Donald, seriously, you know all about sexual predators and things like that.” Stern’s co-host intervened to add, “You are one!” Trump smiled and nodded, conceding the point.

At the time, this was intended to be funny and the people in the studio laughed. But now that a variety of women have accused Trump of groping – against a backdrop of a recording in which he boasted about predatory behavior – what may have seemed humorous in 2006 is being heard in a very different light.

Similarly, Vanity Fair published a piece yesterday on one of Trump’s “Fox & Friends” appearances in 2010.
In the on-set interview with co-hosts Gretchen Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, and Steve Doocy, Trump recounted how he met his third wife, Melania Trump. He was at a party filled with models who “looked like Gretchen, actually,” Trump said, when he saw Melania standing next to a famous supermodel. “I fought very hard. She wouldn’t give me her number. I don’t think she found me at all attractive, to be honest with you,” he added, laughing alongside the Fox and Friends hosts. “I don’t think she liked me too much, sort of like Gretchen didn’t use to like me.”

But now, Kilmeade pointed out, the two were married and had a son, so clearly, something worked out – a lesson to all the men out there. “This is what I learned though: take action. He never would have got there if you didn’t go over and put yourself out there to be rejected,” Kilmeade summarized.

Trump countered with his own lesson: “Move forward. Even if you get smacked.”
Again, people laughed after the comment, and the idea that men should “move forward,” even after a woman’s rejection, didn’t spark any kind of controversy at the time.

But hindsight continues to do Trump no favors.

This week has produced all kinds of related incidents. BuzzFeed reported on Wednesday, for example, that four women who were contestants in the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant claim Trump walked into the dressing room while girls were changing. Some were as young as 15 at the time. (A Trump campaign official insisted this week that the charges “have no merit.”)

Later the same day, CBS News ran this piece.
In an “Entertainment Tonight” Christmas feature in 1992, Trump looked at a group of 10-year-old girls and said he would be dating one of them in ten years. At the time, Trump would have been 46 years old.

The video, released Wednesday evening, was shot at Trump Tower.

In the clip, Trump asks one of the 10-year-old girls if she’s “going up the escalator.” When the girl replies, “yeah,” Trump turns to the camera and says: “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”
The Chicago Tribune yesterday found a report from 1992 in which Trump heard a youth choir outside Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel the week before Christmas. The report added, “[Trump] asked two of the girls how old they were. After they replied they were 14, Trump said, ‘Wow! Just think – in a couple of years I’ll be dating you.’”

In isolation, each of these quotes were easily overlooked as poor attempts at humor. But given recent developments, they’re seen in a new and unflattering context.

Donald Trump

Hindsight does no favors for Donald Trump