This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on October 31, 2016.
“Donald Trump Presents the Most Beautiful Women in the World” isn’t a joke headline or a Trump campaign pledge. Believe it or not, it’s the actual name of a TV show Trump pitched to ABC in 1993.
In 2016, Slate published a letter found by University of Iowa professor Travis Vogan in which the real estate mogul, still recovering from a string of bankruptcies and business failures in the early ’90s, told ABC’s Roone Arledge that a 60- to 90-minute special featuring Trump interviewing beautiful women from around the world would be a ratings hit. “This program will be done on a yearly basis and will get huge ratings,” Trump wrote. “I will promote it heavily—along with everything else I do.” Another unnamed mystery network was of course “very interested,” so ABC would have to act fast, he said.
Trump included a handy list of beautiful women he could interview, made up mostly of supermodels. He also included Princess Diana—”whom I know and I think will speak to me,” he insisted—as part of his long-running campaign of creeping on the beloved British royal.
It’s not clear if Arledge even acknowledged the letter, and the show was never made. As we know, Trump is always at his most charming and respectful when addressing attractive women on TV, so ABC likely turned down a gold mine.