Why David Letterman thinks Donald Trump is a 'damaged human being'

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Although Donald Trump was a frequent guest on David Letterman's "The Late Show," the now-retired entertainer does not have very nice things to say about the presidential candidate now.

In an interview with the New York Times, Letterman explained that he has known Trump for a long time, and "nobody took him seriously" and "people loved when he would come on the show." Letterman recalled that Trump was the perfect guest while the comedian made fun of the mogul's hair and ties.

"So now, he decides he's running for president. And right out of the box, he goes after immigrants and how they're drug dealers and they're rapists," he said. "And everybody swallows hard. And they think, oh, well, somebody will take him aside and say, 'Don, don't do that.' But it didn't happen."

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David Letterman, Late Night, through the years
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David Letterman, Late Night, through the years
David Letterman at reception in NBC's Studio 6A January 19, 1982 at the announcement of new NBC comedy show "Late Night With David Letterman". (AP Photo/Perez)
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 1982 file photo, host David Letterman, right, and guest Bill Murray appear at the taping of the debut of "Late Night with David Letterman" in New York. Murray's 44th and final appearance Tuesday, May 19, 2015, will mark the end of late-night television's most unique and enduring host-guest relationships. After 33 years in late night and 22 years hosting CBS' "Late Show," Letterman will retire on May 20. (AP Photo/Nancy Kaye, File)
David Letterman, host of NBC-TV's "Late Night with David Letterman, " is taken from a tank of water and placed onto a scale in New York while wearing a specially designed suit of sponges, Feb. 14, 1985. Letterman weighed 190 lbs. before and a whopping 500 lbs. after soaking up about 25 gallons of water, during taping for Thursday night's show. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Comedian David Letterman shown June 5, 1985. (AP Photo/Wally Fong)
Comedian David Letterman holds his award at the 37th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony in Pasadena, Ca., Sunday, Sept. 22, 1985. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
David Letterman in his office at NBC on Jan. 28, 1986 after taping his show. (AP Photo/Mario Suriani)
Performer Paul Simon listens to David Letterman on the set of NBC's "Late Night with David Letterman" in New York, Sept. 11, 1986. Simon was promoting his latest album "Graceland" which features African music. (AP Photo/David Bookstaver)
Farmer Bob Corbett, left, of North Lewisburg, Ohio, shepherds his prize-winning boar named Hog Chief past host David Letterman on the set of NBC's "Late Night with David Letterman" in New York, April 24, 1987. The boar, who had lost of few of his 1,205 pounds when he went on the show, is working to set a world weight record for pigs next August. (AP Photo/G. Paul Burnett)
Bette Davis is a guest of "Late Night With David Letterman" on the set at NBC studios, May 26, 1987. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
NBC television's David Letterman, left, guards first base while CBS television's Bob Schieffer, substituting for Dan Rather, keeps one foot planted on the base at New York's Yankee Stadium, Aug. 22, 1987. CBS won the annual challenge between "Late Night With David Letterman" and CBS' "Evening News" with a score of 14-3. (AP Photo/Rick Maiman)
Talk show host David Letterman, center poses with baseball legends Ted Williams, right, and Joe Garagiola, Jan. 1993. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 1993 file photo, talk-show host David Letterman announces his move from NBC to CBS at a news conference at CBS Studios in New York. Letterman's show "Late Show with David Letterman," on CBS ran against NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. After 33 years in late night and 22 years hosting CBS' "Late Show," Letterman will retire on May 20. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
David Letterman, host of NBC's Late Night, speaks during a news conference in New York on July 15, 1993 announcing his move to CBS. Letterman earned an Emmy nomination for best variety, music or comedy series on Thursday, July 22, 1993. (AP Photo/ Alex Brandon)
David Letterman, right, and Bill Murray wave from the side door of the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York on Monday, August 30, 1993. David Letterman brings his late-night lunacy to CBS with guests including comedian-actor Bill Murray and Joel, as well as what the network billed as ?big surprises.? (AP Photo/Jim Cooper)
Television talks show veteran Tom Snyder, left, laughs during an appearance on CBS? ?Late Show with David Letterman,? on Friday, April 22, 1994 in New York. Industry sources have said that Snyder is currently the frontrunner to host the network?s newest talk show that will air at 12:30 a.m., following Letterman?s show. (AP Photo/Alan Singer)
David Letterman is shown during his opening monologue as host of the 67th annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Ca., Monday, March 27, 1995. (AP Photo/Michael Caulfield)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: US Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore (R) with talk show host David Letterman 14 September, 2000 after the taping of Letterman's show at the Sullivan Theater in New York City. AFP PHOTO/ Luke FRAZZA (Photo credit should read LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Republican presidental candidate and Texas Governor George W. Bush (L) poses for photographers with David Letterman after concluding taping of the 19 October 2000 Late Show with David Letterman in New York. Bush read the Top Ten list poking fun at what he might do if elected. AFP Photo by Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - DECEMBER 24: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, 'Late Show' television host David Letterman entertains soldiers at the Coalition Provisional Authority headquarters December 24, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. (Photo by Reynaldo Ramon/U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)
Team co-owner David Letterman reacts as one of the team's drivers, Buddy Rice, wins the rain-shortened Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 30, 2004, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Tom Strattman)
Late night talk show host David Letterman salutes "Tonight" show host Johnny Carson during a tribute to the late entertainer during the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
David Letterman, left, applauds musician Paul McCartney after his performance atop the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee during a taping of "The Late Show with David Letterman" in New York, Wednesday, July 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
President Barack Obama is pictured with host David Letterman during a break at a taping of CBS The Late Show with David Letterman, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009, at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
David Letterman appears onstage at the “The Comedy Awards” presented by Comedy Central in New York, Saturday, March 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Late night talk show host David Letterman speaks at the International Rescue Committee Freedom Award Dinner at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Wednesday Nov. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Reichbaum)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with David Letterman on the set of the "Late Show With David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Ball State University alumnus David Letterman, right, host of CBS's "Late Show," interviews Oprah Winfrey at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. The conversation is part of the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 5: David Letterman films a segment throwing footballs at a moving cab while at Late Show with David Letterman on May 5, 2014 in New York City. Credit: RW/MediaPunch/IPX
In this photo provided by CBS, Serena Williams talks with host David on the set of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in New York. Williams will compete in the U.S. Open which begins on Aug. 25. (AP Photo/CBS, John Paul Filo)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 7: David Letterman seen outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City on October 7, 2014. Credit: RW/MediaPunch/IPX
FILE - In this March 2, 2015 file photo, David Letterman attends "An Evening of SeriousFun Celebrating the Legacy of Paul Newman", hosted by the SeriousFun Children's Network at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. After 33 years hosting late night talk shows, Letterman will retire on May 20. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK - MAY 7: Tina Fey takes off her dress after her last appearance on the CBS Late Show with David Letterman, Thursday May 7, 2015 on the CBS Television Network (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
FILE - In this May 4, 2015 file photo, host David Letterman smiles during a break at a taping of "The Late Show with David Letterman," at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. After 33 years in late night and 22 years hosting CBS' "Late Show," Letterman will retire on May 20. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
A picture of David Letterman hangs outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. After 33 years and 6,028 broadcasts of his late-night show, David Letterman is retiring. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Letterman added that Trump is a "damaged human being" for the moment in the current campaign when he mocked a New York Times reporter with a congenital disorder. "If you can do that, and not apologize," the comedian said, "you're a person to be shunned."

Letterman thinks that Trump will be "crushed in the general election," citing New York Times columnist David Brooks, who said a similar thing. "I think people just were amused enough about him to keep him afloat in the polls, because nobody wanted the circus to pull up and leave town," Letterman said.

The former "Late Show" host also asked people to stop giving Trump the attention he seeks, bringing up a recent dispute between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the republican candidate.

"Kids, if you turn off the light, the moths will stop coming," Letterman said.

If he were to have Trump as a guest on his show today, Letterman said he would take the opportunity to address the mogul's behavior.

"I would have gone right after him. I would have said something like, 'Hey, nice to see you. Now, let me ask you: What gives you the right to make fun of a human who is less fortunate, physically, than you are?'" he said. "If you see somebody who's not behaving like any other human you've known, that means something. They need an appointment with a psychiatrist. They need a diagnosis and they need a prescription."

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