David Letterman and Donald Trump go way, way back. Over the course of the last three decades, Letterman has interviewed the businessman-turned-politician more than 30 times on his various late-night talk shows. And he’s noticed a marked change since their very first chat together.
Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Letterman said that early on Trump simply craved attention and “just liked being on TV.” Fast forward some 20 or so years, and POTUS has morphed into something else entirely. “I had no sense that he was the soulless bastard that he’s turned into,” Letterman remarked.
The 72-year-old host also compared Trump’s money-hungry real estate days to his current time in the White House, saying that the POTUS has fully lost it. “He used to be kind of like the boob of New York that pretended to be wealthy, or we thought was wealthy, and now he’s just a psychotic,” said Letterman. “Is that putting too fine a point on it?”
Trump’s ugly downward spiral won’t discourage Letterman from inviting the president for another televised discussion, however. In fact, he’d use it as an opportunity to really get to the bottom of Trump’s transformation from simple fool to legit madman.
“Everybody says, ‘Oh, wouldn’t you like to talk to Donald Trump [today]?’ And I would. I would just like to say, ‘Don, it’s Dave. Remember me?” Letterman explained. “I want to talk to the real Donald Trump.'”
“Because I now don’t know which is the real Donald Trump, and if the Donald Trump that I was talking to [back then] was the real Donald Trump, how do you get to be the guy he is now?” argued Letterman. “Politics notwithstanding — let’s just say everything is great and he’s done a great job, but he still behaves the way he behaves — who behaves like that?!”
Who behaves like that? I’ll tell you: Someone who thought running for president would boost his TV ratings.
Revisit one of Letterman’s Trump interviews from 2013.