As Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, we look back at his first big moment on national television. Not yet 40 years old, Mr. Trump had already made a name for himself in the New York real estate world when Mike Wallace interviewed him in 1985. Politics, it seems, was not on his mind.
In a clip that didn’t make the broadcast, Wallace asked Mr. Trump about his future plans. “You’re in your late 30s. You got 40 years to live, minimum,” he told Mr. Trump. “What are you going to do?”
“There are a lot of things to do,” Mr. Trump replied. When Wallace asked if those things included politics, Mr. Trump brushed it aside. “No, not politics, not politics,” he said.
“There are very few capable, really capable people around and those people do have to go into politics,” Mr. Trump said. “Somebody’s got to lead the ship.”
While Mr. Trump’s position on elected office has evolved, his relationship with the press was just as complicated then as it is now. “They can’t make you and they can’t break you,” Mr. Trump said with his then-wife Ivana by his side.
Decades before his dust-ups with mainstream media, he was already critical of journalists. “Well, I don’t think they’ve treated me accurately. I don’t know if it’s unfairly or not.”
Had the public gotten the wrong idea about him, Wallace asked? How did Mr. Trump think he’s perceived?
“Maybe being a little bit sharp, maybe being a little bit overbearing,” he said. “I don’t like to think of myself as that.”
Wallace also teased Mr. Trump about his personal style in the interview. Why, Wallace asked, was he wearing a suit on a Sunday during a poolside interview?
Ivana Trump said it was part of his image as a businessman, but Mr. Trump explained he had just come from the boardroom at Trump Tower. Besides, he said, “How often are you on 60 Minutes, Mike?”
Some 30 years later, Mr. Trump made his most recent appearance on 60 Minutes, this time as president-elect of the United States.