Where others might cut and run, Donald Trump doubles down.
Fresh off his offer to donate $5 million to charity if President Barack Obama releases his college and passport records, The Donald sat down with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush to explain his motives.
After a feisty appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Thursday night, the business mogul entered our interview carrying ratings ammunition — claiming the media tide is turning his way from the backlash caused by his challenge.
“Are you at all bummed out that it’s become fodder?” Billy asked.
“It hasn’t become fodder at all,” Donald replied. “Last night on David Letterman, the audience stood up and gave me a crazy applause… I’ll tell you, the big ratings last night on Letterman helped swing the tide.”
The President reacted to Trump’s challenge during a late-night appearance of his own, telling Jay Leno that his feud with Donald “dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.”
Donald told Billy he’s not impressed by Obama’s dodging of the question at hand.
“[That was] just a conman answer,” he told Billy, adding that he is “absolutely” willing to provide proof that he himself is not Kenyan.
Trump may think the media tide is turning — but he’s still battling his friends over the political challenge, including Barbara Walters and Donny Deutsch, who said Trump’s announcement would “not be good for him.”
“I couldn’t care less about my friendship with Donny Deutsch,” Donald retorted. “You know they all go on ‘The Apprentice,’ they kiss my a**, and then they come out negatively.”
Adding, “Whatever he wants to say… Donny wants to be a star, it’s not working!”
As for Matt Lauer’s comments on Access Hollywood Live on Friday (he said Trump is a “provocateur”), The Donald said his record states otherwise.
“You know what? I built a great, great business, I’m worth more than 8 billion dollars, starting with very little,” he said. “Let me tell you something, Billy, that’s not a provocateur, that’s a serious business person.”
And what does Donald’s wife Melania think of his challenge?
“She thought it was great,” he said. “Millions of people think it is great. What does [Obama] have to lose? Unless he’s hiding something.”
As for whether Donald ran his challenge by Presidential nominee Mitt Romney? “The Apprentice” guru kept his lips sealed.
“I don’t want to say. Why should I say?” Donald said. “What difference does it make?”
“Because if Mitt Romney told you it was a good idea… did you tell him you were going to do this?” Billy countered.
“I did not discuss it with him, no,” Trump answered.