Radio host Howard Stern took a jab at the media for resurfacing his old interviews with Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, saying many of the journalists who wrote about them took things out of context.
“I was quite surprised, when they dragged out every single Donald Trump … interview I had done. And in some ways, I felt it was unfair to Trump,” Stern told “Good Morning America‘s” George Stephanopoulos on Monday. Stern specifically cited Trump’s claim that sexually transmitted diseases were his “personal Vietnam,” which was richly taken up by media critics of the billionaire.
“It was in a very joking scenario. He was not comparing his life to a Vietnam vet. It was ‘ha-ha-ha and this and that,’” Stern said. “When journalists took it and made it serious, I thought it was a little bit unfair.”
Stern, who is promoting his new book “Howard Stern Comes Again,” told Stephanopoulos that he “absolutely” played a role in Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election — while adding that he personally voted for Hillary Clinton.
“I wanted to see Hillary Clinton win,” Stern said. “If she had come on the show — the way I helped Donald was I let him come on and be a personality. Whether you liked him or not … people related to him as a human being.”
Stern’s new book, his first in more than 20 years, hits shelves on Tuesday and has already been an instant Amazon bestseller just in pre-order sales alone since March.
Long before his political career, Trump was one of Stern’s most frequent guests. In addition to his sexual prowess, the billionaire opined on all sorts of off-color subjects including the physical attractiveness of female celebrities, and indulged in trash-talking with the show’s regular guests.
“There was no filter,” Stern said, remembering the conversations.
And while it often made for compelling radio time, the remarks came back to haunt Trump on the 2016 campaign trail. The trawling of old audio played right into the speciality CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and his team — who were then working for BuzzFeed.
“Trump appeared upwards of two dozen times from the late ’90s through the 2000s with the shock jock, and BuzzFeed News has listened to hours of those conversations, which are not publicly available,” wrote Kaczynski with colleague Nathan McDermott in February 2016.
“The most popular topic of conversation during these appearances, as is typical of Stern’s program, was sex. In particular, Trump frequently discussed women he had sex with, wanted to have sex with, or wouldn’t have sex with if given the opportunity. He also rated women on a 10-point scale.”