The Donald and his daughter. In The Hollywood Reporter's new cover story, an impassioned Donald Trump discussed how his presidential campaign is affecting his family, and how his daughter Ivanka Trump believes her father is being misunderstood by the public when it comes to women's issues.
"So my daughter Ivanka, who is a terrific person, she came to me and she said, 'You care so much about women, and you care so much about the whole thing with women's health issues,'" the real estate mogul, 69, noted. "Which is such an important issue to me. And she said, 'You are really misunderstood, and you have to get the word out.' And in the last week, I've been putting the word out. Melania told me that, and Ivanka told me that."
While both Ivanka, 33, and his wife, Melania Trump, have yet to publicly endorse, Trump hinted that the world should be prepared to hear more from his spouse soon. "She is a very confident person. You've seen her on The View, and you've seen her on different shows. Larry King. You've seen her being interviewed," he noted. "She's got a great style, and she would be an amazing first lady with heart."
In fact, 45-year-old Melania already has an agenda and cause that she would like to push in the White House, her husband said. "She would care very much about women's issues. We're talking about mostly medical issues but women's issues," Trump revealed of his third wife, mom to his son Barron, 9. "She was very strong on that with me the other day. Ivanka and Melania said, 'You're not getting fairly treated on your feeling toward women.' My mother [Mary Anne Trump] was this incredible woman. I have known incredible women. I have many women executives, frankly, that are better than my men executives. I pay them the same or more."
Despite his claims, Trump told THR that he had no apologies for Rosie O'Donnell, Arianna Huffington, and Megyn Kelly, who moderated the Republican debate on Fox News several weeks ago.
"People say, 'He won't apologize for anything' — well, I was right on illegal immigration," Trump noted of his past offensive comments about Mexico. "[John] McCain blew it because he's done a poor job of taking care of the veterans. And then the third element so far, you had Megyn Kelly, and I think you've seen what happened with that. I feel quite confident in my position. At the same time, I believe in apologizing. But to apologize for me is very difficult. I definitely would apologize if I were wrong on something."
In fact, Trump said the last time he apologized was "too many years ago to remember."
He resolutely stood by his comments about O'Donnell. "Rosie actually saved me because that was a rough question," Trump said of referring to the host as a "fat pig" during the debate. "So Rosie, finally you saved me. Because the room went wild. Between the laughing and the applause — it really stopped the rest of the question, which was just a continuation of 'kill.' That was a question that could have ruined my whole evening."
Trump also shed some light on his relationship with Fox News' president Roger Ailes. "Well, he's a man that I like a lot, he's been a friend of mine for many years, and he has done an incredible job. We were at war because I felt that [Kelly's debate question about women] was unfair, and I let him know it," Trump shared. "But it's all fine now. They were tough questions, and I thought inappropriate, but Roger didn't, and I'll go with Roger."
He will not, however, go with Kelly. "Unlikely, but it could happen," Trump noted of appearing on The Kelly File. "They wanted me to do her show, but I'm not looking to do that. I know it's good show business, I know it's good for ratings, but that doesn't matter. I did Sean Hannity's show [The Sean Hannity Show] the other night — it's the highest-rated show he's ever had [2.2 million viewers, his highest at 10 p.m.]. And he has been such a gentleman to me. Bill O'Reilly has been so great. He's a tough cookie, and he's smart, but he's been so fair. So I don't know."
He also addressed the death threats Kelly has received since the debate. "I'm sure they don't mean that," Trump said of his fans. "I had heard that had happened. But I have gained such respect for the people that like me and respect me and that like my views, it's incredible."
But not his targets, including former Nightly News anchor Williams and Bill Cosby. "I wasn't a fan of Brian Williams," Trump told THR. "First of all, I think he made a terrible mistake. He handled the situation horribly, and he should have left with dignity and shouldn't have gone back to work for the same company. For him to go from the parent to the poor sister [network] — and that's not even the poor sister, that's the poor baby. He has never treated me well, so I'm not a fan. How is he going to do? I think he'll do fine. MSNBC is lucky to have him. But if I were in Brian's shoes, I would never have gone back. I'm sure he doesn't need the money."
Along with Williams and countless others, Trump slammed embattled comic Cosby for an incident that took place years before his current woes related to the actor's alleged sexual assault of more than 30 women.
"I've never been a fan. I had one bad experience with him," he recalled. "I was on Letterman, and he was following me on the show. He said, 'Oh, I want to buy you a suit.' It was nice, he bought me a suit. And then he was on [the Today show], and my name was mentioned, and he went absolutely crazy. And I said, 'What the hell was that all about?' I was never a fan. His humor was always, like, slow and stupid to me. I never saw it. And then he's obviously got this stuff. What amazes me is he was so quiet and then you see these depositions. What was he doing? Was he drunk? You see he admitted all this stuff on top of everything else. I think he's weird. And I never found his humor good at all. Just sit in a chair, talk very slowly? And I say to myself, 'What's this all about?'"
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