Saying that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is brash, obnoxious, and misogynist, especially during interviews, is like saying that grass is green or water is wet. Those attributes have never been more apparent than during a 2001 phone interview on “The Howard Stern Show.” Trump called in to promote the Miss Universe pageant, but got into a major pissing match with guest and gossip reporter A.J. “Fame, ain’t it a bitch?” Benza.
Trump and Benza were old romantic rivals for the affections of former model Kara Young. The whole exchange is embarrassing and awful for everyone involved, with Trump gloating over sleeping with Young and then the two of them accusing each other of going in for hair plugs. Gawker has an audio clip, but here’s a transcript. Young was eventually brought into the segment, who was none too happy about being dragged into this mess:
Howard Stern: How are you? Oh, by the way, your arch enemy A.J. Benza’s here.
Donald Trump: A.J.’s a nice guy. I like him even though I hear he said negative things about me in his book.
A.J. Benza: Just one chapter’s worth. That’s all.
Trump: I can’t believe it!
Robin Quivers: Did you know you went after his girlfriend?
Trump: No, I did more. I stole his girlfriend. But I didn’t know I was stealing his girlfriend.
Benza: What do you think, you’re the world’s best lover?
Trump: I’ve been very successful with your girlfriend, I can tell you that.
Benza: You know what? I got news for you.
Trump: And it bothered you a lot. Hey, A.J., look, it bothered you a lot and it should bother you a lot. No, she told me that you were losing your hair, A.J. and that you’ve been going for transplants.
Benza: Well, you’ve already got plugs.
Trump: Are you going for transplants, A.J?
Benza: No, I didn’t go. I’m not gonna go.
Trump: Are you going? Because I had heard you’re going. I mean, you now, I think it’s fine. I think it’s good luck and all, but I heard that you were going.
Benza: Oh, shut up. You got plugs. Does the world know that?
Trump: You’re not going to be able to go back to her, A.J. You know that.
Benza: I’m not going back to her!
Quivers: You ruined her for A.J.?
Trump: Unfortunately, I’ve ruined that for you, A.J., whether you’d like to admit it or not.
Stern: Hey Donald, I love it when guys fight about poon tang … Is any girl worth having a feud over?
Trump: I’m not feuding over it, I’m very happy where I am.
Benza: I am so not feuding over Kara.
Stern: You did her and you’re happy, right Donald?
Trump: I’m very happy where I am.
Benza: He sends things-paper from the news that he has, all the clippings of all his articles that he sends her. Circles his name and writes “billionaire.” You have no idea.
Stern: That’s nonsense.
Benza: Tomorrow, the world sees them.
Kara Young: You both have very big mouths. And has anything ever happened that was improper, has anyone ever tried to see me when they shouldn’t have? Yes, they have.
Benza: Of course.
Young: And that is a fact, and everyone knows it.
Benza: Of course.
Young: And I…do not want to go on and on about it because I did not act entirely properly.
Benza: I’m sorry?
Trump: Just view it very positively. There’s nothing wrong. I mean, just take it nice and easy. You wrote a book, you said some things in the book that weren’t true.
Benza: But you didn’t read it. How do you know?
Trump: Because I was told. Four people called me up and they said “A.J. said this and that.” Then you said about me with publicity – Howard, he sends me a letter – I have it right in front of me – begging me to be on his first show.
Benza: I didn’t write the letter! We’re both Geminis, we’re both big ego guys. I understand that, you’re good for New York. I just wish you’d tell the truth a little more.
Things get especially creepy when the conversation takes a transphobic turn:
Stern: They accused her of being a guy
Trump: It’s very tough. First of all – she wasn’t. Second of all, she’s really beautiful.
Quivers: Did you check her out?
Stern: Yeah, did you pull her panties down and look?
Trump: I’ll tell you, if you ever took a look at her you, you’d probably want to do that, she’s beautiful.
Apparently the full segment was a good 20 minutes of the two men berating one other and Benza eventually threatening to beat Trump with a baseball bat. According to The Daily Beast, things got especially nasty when Benza put his focus on Donald’s daughter, the then 19-year-old Ivanka Trump.
“I can’t wait ‘til your little daughter gets a little older for me,” said Benza.
“Hey, A.J., I guarantee you have zero chance,” Trump responded. “A.J., any girl you have, I can take from you — if I want. Any girl you have, I can take from you. You’re full of shit. So any girl you have, I can take. That I guarantee. And that was proven before.”
It’s kind of weird that Trump used the prospect of Benza dating Ivanka as a jumping off point to talk about how he could steal women from Benza. Okay, maybe not that weird.
If you’re thinking that this interview was a long time ago and Trump has since tempered this macho bravado, here’s a tweet from 2013 that might convince you otherwise.