The Trump Files: Trump Wanted a TV Show of Him Ogling Women

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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.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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