Newly resurfaced video from 1999 shows Trump's first failed presidential bid was actually a dry run for 2016

 

  • A nearly 20-year-old video of a CBS interview between anchor Dan Rather and Donald Trump resurfaced on YouTube.
  • During the interview, Trump ridiculed Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Gov. George W. Bush of Texas.
  • "Does being captured make you a hero," Trump asked, referring to McCain. "I don't know, I'm not sure."
  • Referring to Bush, Trump said he was "very, very saddened by the fact that he certainly doesn't seem like Albert Einstein."

New York City real-estate tycoon Donald Trump discussed his political ambitions and railed against Sen. John McCain and George W. Bush in a nearly 20-year-old video of a CBS interview with anchor Dan Rather.

"I am absolutely serious about conceivably running for the office of president," Trump said to Rather on CBS's "60 Minutes II" in 1999, which resurfaced on YouTube.

"And if run and I won, I think I'd be a really good president. I'd be prepared to spend $100 million on the race if necessary," Trump said at the time.

During the interview, Trump touted his credentials and threw jabs at Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Gov. George W. Bush of Texas.

Trump downplayed McCain's service and said the former naval aviator, who was held captive and tortured by North Vietnamese forces for over five years, "was captured."

"And he flew combat missions [with distinction]," Rather replied.

"Does being captured make you a hero," Trump asked. "I don't know, I'm not sure."

Years later, on the campaign trail ahead of the 2016 election, Trump would echo the same remarks and throw cold water on McCain's credentials.

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John McCain's military capture and rescue
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John McCain's military capture and rescue
A photo taken by a French cameraman in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. John McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War.
P368426 01: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain Is Pulled Out Of A Hanoi Lake By North Vietnamese Army Soldiers And Civilians October 26, 1967 In Hanoi, North Vietnam. Mccain's A-4E Skyhawk Was Shot Down By A Surface-To-Air Missile. Mccain Broke Both Arms And His Right Knee Upon Ejection And Lost Consciousness Until He Hit The Water. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 04: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain In A Hanoi Hospital During The Vietnam War November, 1967. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 06: (File Photo) A Statue Commemorating October 26, 1967, The Day Lt. Cmdr. John Mccain Was Captured By The North Vietnamese Army, Stands In Hanoi, North Vietnam. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 05: (File Photo) A Mug Shot Of Senator John Mccain As A P.O.W. Taken By The North Vietnamese Sometime Between 1967-73 (Photo By Getty Images)
HANOI, VIET NAM: This file picture taken in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War. One of his rescuers said 24 February 2000, McCain was well treated after being pulled from the lake by villagers. McCain said that upon capture he was beaten by an angry mob and bayoneted in the groin. (B/W ONLY) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
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"He's not a war hero," Trump said in 2015. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured."

Referring to Bush in the 1999 interview, Trump said he was "very, very saddened by the fact that he certainly doesn't seem like Albert Einstein."

Asked if Bush would have been Texas's governor if his father, President George H.W. Bush, had not been the commander-in-chief, Trump replied "no."

"Hey, look. I know politicians," Trump said. "I deal with them all the time at almost every level."

"I know these folks well," Trump added. "And some are dumber than a rock. And I know who they are. I know the smart ones, I know the not-so-smart ones, and I know that I can do a very good job."

Rather also posed a question to former model Melania Trump, asking what Trump's best qualities were.

"He's a loyal man," Melania said smiling.

Trump sought the presidential nomination from the Reform Party, a political party founded in 1995 by billionaire Ross Perot. Trump would later withdraw from the race and cited the Reform Party's infighting as the driving factor.

 

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