Filmmaker Michael Moore visited Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday night, and he spent most of his time talking about the first time he met Donald Trump.
The year was 1998, and both Moore and Trump were guests on Roseanne Barr’s short-lived syndicated talk show. As Moore told Meyers, the producer came up to him in the green room before the show and told him Trump was “really nervous” about him being on the show and was threatening to leave before the taping. They asked Moore to try to reason with him and get him to stay.
“So I walk over to him, and I said, ‘Mr. Trump, it’s Michael Moore.’ And I shook his hand, and it’s all clammy.” Before Meyers could ask, Moore added, “I don’t remember the size of the hand.”
Trump was understandably worried that because he was a “big corporate guy” and Moore was behind the documentary Roger and Me, they would be forced to “mix it up.” At that time, apparently, Trump wasn’t up for on-air conflict.
“I’m having to talk him off the ledge from this,” Moore said. “You know, grow some gonads here.” Because of their conversation, Moore was much nicer to Trump on the show than he otherwise would have been. And it was only years later that he realized he’d been “played.” He explained, “I felt sorry for him, and the hands were so wet!”
When The Daily Beast interviewed Roseanne Barr this summer, she too recalled bringing Moore and Trump together. And she claimed she was the one who told him “You should run for president” after watching him on her show.
“He was extremely progressive. He was saying we should invest more in education, and we need health care. He said all the things that Hillary’s saying,” she added of 1998 Trump. “That’s why I know that it’s just a con. The whole fucking thing. It’s a scam, a con, and it’s rigged.”
If all that was true, Trump probably didn’t have as much to worry about from Moore as he thought he did.