It happened when a moderator asked him to respond to a recent BuzzFeed News report that he had secretly hedged on his hardline immigration proposals during an off-the-record interview with liberal New York Times editors. Trump responded, characteristically, with a small declaration of victory. First of all, BuzzFeed, they were the ones that said under no circumstances will I run for president, and were they wrong, Trump said.
About half an hour into Thursday night’s presidential debate, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump took a moment to call me out for the worst prediction of my career.
It happened when a moderator asked him to respond to a recent BuzzFeed News report that he had secretly hedged on his hardline immigration proposals during an off-the-record interview with liberal New York Times editors.
He was referring to a 2014 profile I wrote, titled, “36 Hours On The Fake Campaign Trail With Donald Trump.” In the story, I chronicle two accidental days spent inside the billionaire’s bubble, and I make the case that his 25-year history of flirting with — and then abandoning — various presidential bids constitutes a “long con” designed to generate publicity.
Of course, as Trump himself acknowledged on the debate stage, I was not the only political journalist to get this particular prediction wrong. But I was wrong earlier, and at greater length. Not only did I write a 6,000-word profile utterly dismissing his claims that he was serious this time; I spent the next year making the same argument on TV every time “Trump 2016” speculation meandered into the news cycle. I have a vague recollection of offering, at one point, to bet my entire annual salary that Trump wouldn’t appear on a ballot in Iowa. Thankfully, no one at the MSNBC roundtable that day took me up on it. Read more…