In a bar room interview screened in the UK on Tuesday evening, just hours ahead of his much-hyped sit-down with Megyn Kelly on Fox in the US, Trump was his usual abrasive self.
And Morgan—a longtime friend of Trump’s, and previous winner of Celebrity Apprentice—just loved it.
Several of the most news-worthy soundbites from Piers Morgan Meets Donald Trump had already been widely trailed, such as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee warning he won’t have a good relationship with British Prime Minister David Cameron if he’s elected (Cameron called Trump’s comments on Muslims “stupid, divisive and wrong”) and Trump’s bizarre attack on the intelligence of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Shortly after taking office, Khan criticized Trump’s views of Islam as ignorant—but in his interview with Morgan, Trump attempted to turn the tables on Khan and said Khan’s remarks that he was ‘stupid’ were ‘nasty’.
“Let's take an I.Q. test,” Trump said Monday, adding that Khan had never met him and “doesn’t know what I’m all about.”
“I think they're very rude statements and frankly, tell him, I will remember those statements. They’re very nasty statements.”
Trump did not seek to engineer a particularly presidential image, instead shooting the interview perched on a bar stool with rows of gleaming optics behind him.
He denied the rumor he had lusted after Princess Diana.
“Totally false, so false. I liked her. I met her in New York once…I did respect her, but I had no interest from that standpoint. But I did meet her once and I thought she was lovely.”
Trump laid into Hilary Clinton, describing her as “a very flawed candidate--horrible on jobs,” and denied he had ever been “good friends” with the Clintons, saying, “I knew everybody, I knew every politician, it was part of what I had to do.”
Trump showed few signs of rowing back on his remarks on banning Muslims from entering the United States, saying, “We have a tremendous problem with radical Islamic terror and it’s not people from Sweden who are doing the damage…there is something going on that is not good.”
Asked if he regretted his remarks on banning Muslims from entering America, he said, “It got people thinking. I’m not against any religion but there is something very bad going on there and we have to get to the bottom of it.”
Asked how he expected moderate, law-abiding Muslims to react to his remarks, he said they needed to “turn in” terrorists, saying, “They know what's going on, if they don’t turn them in it’s going to be very hard to get along.”
Trump said that he had been against the various wars that America has involved itself in in the Middle East, remarking, “15 years ago, if our presidents had all gone to the beach and done nothing, we’d be in a better place than we are today.
“Bush got us into it, it was a terrible thing that happened, and Obama, the way he got out, was a disaster.”
Trump added that there was however a “moral obligation” to help people left in the war-torn regions, adding, “I love people. I respect people. I am a nice person. I like to help people. Most people don’t know that.”