Donald Trump “exploded” in anger after ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos grilled the then-presidential candidate about Russia and his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview before the 2016 election, according to a new book .
“Once the cameras went off, storm clouds appeared over Trump’s face,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman detailed in “Confidence Man,” an advance copy of which was obtained by CNN this week. .
Trump, Haberman said, blasted ABC News producer John Santucci that Stephanoulous’ line of questioning about Russia and Putin was “bullshit.”
“Eight fucking followers, are you kidding me?” Trump reportedly growled, before launching into this domestic violence analogy:
It’s like wondering if I hit my wife. You ask me once, I say “Shit no” and we move on. Then don’t ask me if I hit her with a fucking baseball bat or a fucking golf club. That was bullshit and you better fix it in editing.
“Trump exploded” when Stephanopoulos later “laughed” and said his team said “I didn’t ask you enough” about Russia, Haberman said.
The future president reportedly responded, “Are you kidding me? Eighteen fucking follows, how many different ways do I have to say I don’t know the guy?
As president, Trump frequently praised Putin and tried to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into an alliance with his likely 2020 election rival, Joe Biden.