An old interview with Donald Trump from 1997 has resurfaced, revealing some crass statements on dating and STDs. The real estate mogul and businessman told host Howard Stern that dating was his "personal Vietnam." Now, many veterans are retroactively furious at the now-president's remarks.
Trump called himself a "brave soldier" for avoiding STDs while dating in the late 1990s. He made reference to the HIV and AIDS epidemic at the time as well, referring to women's vaginas as "potential landmines," adding: "There's some real danger there."
“It’s amazing, I can’t even believe it. I’ve been so lucky in terms of that whole world, it is a dangerous world out there. It’s like Vietnam, sort of. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier,” he said.
Another interview from 1993 finds Trump telling Stern that men who had not gone to Vietnam did not need to feel guilty, as dating back at home was dangerous in its own right.
“You know, if you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam, we have our own Vietnam — it’s called the dating game,” he said. “Dating is like being in Vietnam. You’re the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam.”
These quotes fly in the face of Trump's more recent rhetoric on military service. In 2015, at a campaign rally in New Hampshire, he said that he "always felt a little guilty" for not going to fight in the Vietnam War. Trump was absolved of his duty to enlist in the draft due to bone spurs on his feet.
Of course, Trump has no shortage of inflammatory and even contradictory quotes, but so far they have not weakened his presidency or his support. Many of his most blunt quotes come from appearances on The Howard Stern Show, where he was a guest many times over the years. He and Stern were known for treading lewd territory in their conversations, but more and more women are saying that these quotes are more than just words for President Trump.
At least 16 women in total have leveled accusations of sexual assault against Trump over the years, going all the way back to the 1980s. Just last month, writer E. Jean Carroll claimed that she had been sexually assaulted by Trump in the mid 1990s, around the time he gave those two interviews with Stern.
Carroll detailed her story in her new book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal. Even his rebuttal was condemned as misogynistic, as President Trump argued that Carroll was making up her allegation to sell books. He also told reporters from The Hill: "she's not my type."