By Edmund DeMarche
Published May 24, 2019
Radio host Howard Stern on Thursday doubled down on his theory that President Trump ran for president in 2016 in hopes of getting a better deal from NBC for his show "The Apprentice," and said he has inside information that confirms Trump’s motivation.
The shock jock did not name his source but laid out what he said was Trump’s thinking.
He said that years ago, a public relations specialist floated the idea to Trump to get a rumor circulating that he was considering a White House run. It was around the time when he first released, "The Art of the Deal." The scheme worked, Stern said, and Trump's popularity swelled and so did book sales. Stern said the scheme was so successful, that Tump used it again for his second book, “The Art of the Comeback.”
"In the last election, “The Apprentice” ratings were not what they were; NBC was not going to give him a raise, and what’s a better way than to get NBC’s interest? ‘I’ll run for president, get lots of press,' and I think that’s what happened.”
The theories of Trump's motivation are wide-reaching. An enduring one is that Trump resented President Obama’s onslaught during the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. The New York Times reported that Trump "quickly left, appearing bruised." The paper quoted then-Washington Post editor, Marcus Brauchi, who said Trump was “incredibly gracious and engaged on the way in,” but left “with maximum efficiency.”
Trump said he “loved that dinner” and can “handle criticism. He maintained during his 2016 run that he was motivated to enter politics because the country needed him. He said the U.S. was doing badly on trade policies and immigration and an outsider was most prepared to fix it.
Stern also theorized Thursday in the CNN interview that Trump has father issues and has likely been traumatized by his childhood. The host said the president would likely benefit from psychotherapy.
“I wish he would go into psychotherapy,” Stern told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I would be so proud of him, and he would flourish.”
Cooper said Trump “never has” gone to therapy, but weighed in on Trump’s mental state as being “susceptible to flattery.” Stern said he would play that angle when interviewing Trump on his radio show and refer to him only as “Mr. Trump.”
“It loosens him up,” Stern said. “He feels respected; he feels good about himself, now he’s going to roll.”