That Time Trump Was Caught Lying on CNN About His Book-Reading Habits | Video

The future president tried to blame his earpiece for the mistake

Donald Trump CNN
"Crossfire" (CNN)

It’s not really news that Donald Trump fabricates stories and lies all the time, but this clip from a 1987 interview on CNN’s “Crossfire” showed that the future president was basically always this way.

While speaking to Pat Buchanan and Tom Braden, Trump praised Tom Wolfe as his favorite author. When asked if he’d read Wolfe’s recently released book “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” Trump said, “I did not.”

The conversation continued along those lines and Buchanan asked, “What’s the best book you’ve read besides ‘Art of the Deal’?” Trump insisted that he “really liked” Wolfe’s last book… which happened to be “The Bonfire of the Vanities.”

The interview began when Buchanan asked, “Who are your favorite authors?” Trump replied, “Well, I have a number of favorite authors. I think Tom Wolfe is excellent.” He’s then asked if he read the book in question, which Buchanan mistakenly referred to as “Vanity of the Bonfires” before he corrected himself.

“It’s a phenomenal book,” Buchanan continued. Braden then asked, “What book are you reading now?” to which Trump unsurprisingly replied, “Well, I’m reading my own book again because I think it’s so fantastic.”

Trump also told Buchanan, “I really liked Tom Wolfe’s last book. I think he’s a great author. He’s done a beautiful job, he’s —” he continued before Buchanan cut in, “Which book?”

“The — his current book,” Trump said. “Just his current book, it’s just out.”

“‘Bonfire of the Vanities,’” Buchanan said. “Yes,” Trump replied. “And the, the man has done a very good job, and I don’t, I really can’t hear with this earphone, by the way,” Trump said, in what was clearly an attempt to distract from the obvious literary lie.

That Trump claimed to have read at all is a surprise for those of us who endured his one term as president. A number of sources, including author Michael Wolff, have verified that Trump doesn’t like to read at all.

As he wrote in his 2018 book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” of Trump, “He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate.”

This isn’t Trump’s only literary lie. In 1990, his late ex-wife Ivana Trump claimed in an interview with Vanity Fair that he kept a collection of Hitler’s speeches on his bedside table; Trump himself explained to the outlet that it was his “friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of “Mein Kampf“, and he’s a Jew.” He then added, “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

(NBC later clarified that Davis, who is not Jewish, said that he gave Trump the essays, titled “My New Order,” because he thought the businessman might think they were “interesting.”)

Trump’s interest, perceived or otherwise, in Hitler has come under recent scrutiny in the wake of his comment that immigrants are “poisoning the blood” of the United States. Hitler used the exact phrase about Jews often, something that Trump has since claimed to not know.

“No, and I never knew that Hitler said it, either, by the way,” Trump said Friday in a radio interview. “And I never read ‘Mein Kampf.’ They said I read ‘Mein Kampf.’ These are people that are disinformation, horrible people that we’re dealing with. I never read ‘Mein Kampf.’”

Watch the vintage interview with Trump in the video near the top of this post.

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